Gold vs. Culture
23 January, 2014
Gold vs. Culture
RMG Gold, an investor company involved in gold and copper mining in Bolnisi, in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia, may quit the business if Georgian government does not resume its licensing terms satisfactorily. Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia (MCMP) is withholding a license to RMG Gold since it cannot decide if the territory in Bolnisi includes a historical monument of cultural heritage.
Until the government makes a final decision work is suspended, and both investors and
employees are nervous. The mines have been in operation since 1975 but it was only in 2004 that a Georgian-German archeological team discovered, in the Sakdrisi-Kachagiani deposit, what they thought to be the most ancient gold mine in the world, about five thousand years old.
The team says this proves that people who lived on Georgian territory then had mining and gold-processing skills, predating by a thousand years the Egyptians previously regarded as the world’s first gold miners.
Already Georgian government has granted cultural heritage status to the Sakdrisi mine, and prohibits RMG Gold from mining within 300 meters of the monument.
However, RMG Gold questioned the status of the monument shortly after the 2012 change in government. It was skeptical of the monument’s cultural significance. In spring 2013 it appealed to then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to reevaluate the status. A special commission was created at MCMP in May 2013; it found no proof supporting the claims for the prehistoric significance of the mine. In July the status of cultural heritage and national importance was canceled. In October the archeological protection zone was made void.
New archeological research began in October-November of 2013 on the order of Ivanishvili. This expedition found the Sakdrisi deposit devoid of archeological artifacts, Natali Nozadze, PR Manager of RMG Gold, told Georgian Journal.
But to resume work the company needs the consent of MCMP, which, however, is still withheld – MCMP says procedures were violated when the cultural heritage status was voided. The Ministry of Culture plans new research, though, and may re-grant the requested status, but only after legal procedures it deems acceptable.
Until then RMG Gold, which has already invested USD 300 million, is stalled. Commensurately, the state will lose the tolls on mining, scheduled to be paid in 7-8 years; and three thousand employees face the threat of remaining jobless. Besides, the gold and copper exported by RMG Gold is more than 10% of Georgian exports.
RMG Gold believes “cultural heritage” is a formal excuse, and some interested group stands behind this archeology vs. gold soap opera. Historically gold has always caused conflict - Georgian gold mines are no exception. Non-transparent privatization and ownership issues were once raised regarding the previously state-owned Madneuli gold deposits now exploited by RMG Gold.
RMG Gold warns that it will quit the business if Ministry of Culture does not make a timely decision in the near future. As Keti Ebanoidze, a spokesperson for Ministry of Culture, informed Georgian Journal, the ministry is working on the issue and will make its decision in a week.

Print
Other Stories
Inovative and reliable online shop in Georgia - Momitane.ge
Status of Georgia as a business and tourism interesting country is growing from year to year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com Head Speaker List featuring Circle, DEX.top and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
GAZELLE FINANCE GEORGIA AND TBC BANK HELP THE WESTERN REGIONAL CENTER OF MODERN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN KUTAISI, GEORGIA
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equiavlent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
12.11.2018
13.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7146
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0800
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.5325
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0430
4.0131
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30