By: Ing. Franco Arista - Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Specialist
Supreme Decree N ° 018-2018-EM (1) recognised and included in the formal economic system, the third natural persons and manual gold handlers, known as Cachorreros and Pallaqueras. This is pioneering since this group of people has never been seen as part of the gold production chain, nor was it included as part of the Integral Registry of Mining Formalization (REINFO).
It is for that reason that the norm indicated that the Ministry of Enegy and Mines (MINEM) would register these commercial stakeholders in the Puno region. The result was a record of 11,595 people, among Pallaqueras and Cachorreros, who were authorized to sell up to 66 grams of gold per month. That means 792 grams of gold per year, using the electronic purchase settlement as a means of proof of payment authorized by SUNAT.
Next, the potential of this norm and the scalability that could have in other regions of Peru are detailed.
The potential of gold volume per month that could be obtained is 765.27 kg and the annual potential would be of 9,183.24 kg; more than 9 tons of gold per year. This volume would represent an income of 31 million dollars per month or more than 381 million dollars per year, as shown in the following table.
Superintendency Resolution No. 028-2013 / SUNAT (2) mentions that when a gold purchase settlement is used, a 4% Income Tax must be withheld. Seeing the potential of this activity, the generated retention would amount to more than 15 million dollars a year or to more 51 million soles.
Finally, a proposal is to take a percentage of the amount retained by SUNAT, between 5% and 20%, to be managed by the Mining Fund and, therefore, support social projects and technical assistance in the mining communities of where the gold comes from. Thus, a return in favor of the miner would be received for complying with the tax obligations.