GGMC to enforce land reclamation

Georgetown, GINA, August 12, 2016

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) will be mainstreaming land reclamation. The agency’s Acting Commissioner, Newell Dennison said land reclamation has become a priority of the Commission’s board and the GGMC will be intensifying the process to ensure miners fulfil their obligations.

Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Dennision said, “We’ve got land reclamation examples in the Mahdia area, but we have some other strategic areas where we want to improve and amplify that,” Dennison said.

Miners are required to reclaim and backfill mined our areas, Dennison noted. Land reclamation will be enforced through the GGMC’s environmental division.

Acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC),  Newell Dennison

Acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Newell Dennison

Dennison said that focus will also be placed on areas that have been previously mined out. Focus will be given to illegally mined out “buffer areas” Dennison added.

“Those are areas that are prime to threats in that regard because if the buffer areas can be restored that can protect us from some of the turbidity issues that we have as a result of mining,” said Dennison.

Turbidity is the measurement of how cloudy a body of water like rivers are and is a determination in water quality. Dennison told GINA that, “the turbidity of our rivers” is one of the biggest challenges the Commission faces and expressed hope that the enforcement of land reclamation will mitigate the issue.

However, the GGMC is also challenged by staffing to ensure that regulations in relation to this process and in general are enforced. Dennison noted that the GGMC has been building capacity.

“We are working very hard at getting our officers properly trained, educated and technically proficient in the ground structure issues that relate to that,” Dennison said.

Land reclamation has become part of government’s effort to ensure that mining is done in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Last month, government announced that a Land Reclamation Unit will soon be established.