Burning issues in mining industry will be addressed systematically − VP

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during a meeting on Tuesday with stakeholders in the mining industry, committed to having several burning issues addressed in a systemic and expeditious manner.

Speaking to the gathering at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, the Vice President recommended that a robust engagement be conducted to highlight all the matters that deal with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during the meeting with mining stakeholders

From this engagement, Dr. Jagdeo said a report should be prepared and submitted for him to take to the Cabinet to ensure that issues raised are definitively resolved.

VP Jagdeo said these issues have been festering for a long time and urged the GGMC to focus primarily on the “efficient discharge of duty in a fair, impartial manner and safeguard against capricious and corrupt actions.”

“You need to get a group of people together to work with the agency under the minister to come up with that, we do not want only complaints, because sometimes we are overloaded with grievances of a petty nature, I’m hoping that we can address the systemic issues,” the VP recommended.

Stakeholders in the mining industry at the meeting with the Vice President

He said dealing with the systemic issues would deliver the results that are necessary to move the sector forward.

“I want to see a report as to what we can do institutionally, what we need to reform, if it’s just institutional changes, structural changes, personnel changes and how we constantly keep monitoring the people that we deploy to discharge the agency’s responsibilities that they do so in an uncorrupt way or in a fair way,” the VP asserted.

The Vice President noted that collaboratively, the mining community and government, through the responsible agencies, have to develop mechanisms that would safeguard those persons who are holders of mining permits, while at the same times ensuring that small miners are provided with equal opportunities to enable their growth in the industry.

Stakeholders in the mining industry at the meeting with the Vice President

“Sometimes in addressing issues of big miners, I think they feel that is state is not paying attention to their concerns and that they are treated unfairly … and I expect that the GGDMA and the large miners would work with us in ensuring that happens,” he expressed.

The VP said another meeting is imminent, as discussions must be held to decide on how roads are constructed in the future within mining areas. He also expressed optimism that the current road projects which are worth over $2 billion are executed in a timely manner.