Government engaged in discussions regarding concessions for miners; no truth in GGDMA’s accusations of betrayal

Ministry of Natural Resources, Georgetown, Guyana – The Ministry of Natural Resources would like to set the record straight with regards to a press release from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) today November 10, 2016 expressing a number of concerns germane to the granting of concessions in the mining sector.

The Ministry of Natural Resources believes that it is a apposite to note that in November 2015, agreements were signed among the GGDMA, the Guyana Energy Agency and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission regarding a number of exemptions from customs duties on fuel and equipment. These agreements remain in force.

As the period of the agreement-signing would suggest, the agreement was signed under the current administration, contrary to what was said in the press release. Furthermore, the statements: “The current government has given no additional help to the industry. They have provided no new concrete concessions and to date they have not put in one single road or other infrastructural work that directly benefits the industry,” simply have no basis in fact. Further the Ministries of Natural Resources and Public Infrastructure are currently engaged with members of the GGDMA to address the maintenance and opening up of hinterland roads.

We can state also that the Ministry of Finance is currently engaged in discussions regarding these concessions and other forms of support to the mining sector, including reviewing requests for renewal of these concessions.

We urge that the executive of the GGDMA await confirmed information from the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Natural Resources before making inaccurate pronouncements that do no one any good.

The David Granger led Government places immense value on the contribution of mining to the socio-economic well-being of Guyana, and especially hails the contributions of small and medium scale miners. The administration has no intention of turning its back on the miners at this critical time of national development.

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