Govt fulfils promise, signs agreement with National Mining Syndicate Inc.
─ “Big difference in people’s lives” – Min. Jordan
─ syndicates will benefit from several concessions via a new agreement
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Small mining syndicates will benefit from several concessions via a new agreement signed with the Ministry of Finance today.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, who formalised the agreement with other senior officials including the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) Commissioner Godfrey Statia, Guyana Geology Mines and Commission’s (GGMC) Commissioner Noelle Dennison and Guyana Energy Authority head, Dr. Mahender Sharma, described the signing as historic.
He noted the signing will result in a “big difference in peoples’ lives” and recalled that it was the fulfilment of a promise made by the government which vowed not to discriminate against anyone and to support small and medium scale miners with concessions. The Finance Minister also lauded the efforts of Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes who lobbied for the mining syndicates.
“We are glad you are not looking for handouts. You are looking for support from the government and we will continue to support you in any way which possible.” The efforts of “those who worked hard in the fields and braved all that nature threw at them and returned each day to their job, that helped to build Guyana, and hoped they could get the greatest benefit, and not the few who are jockeying for positions, every which way to reap the hog of this land with the advent of the oil and gas sector,” Minister Jordan noted.
President of the National Mining Syndicate Incorporated, Cherryl Williams welcomed the move on behalf of the 14 mining syndicates she represented.
These included; Jaguar of Berbice, Mineral Blast of Puruni, Karau Syndicate of Bartica, Gold Search of Issano, Greater Silver Creek of Rupununi, Central Mahdia and Fork K of Konaruk.
The veteran miner said the agreement covered concessions on imported single and double door cab pickups, all-terrain vehicles, washing plants, drilling equipment and spare parts.
It was a move that Minister Broomes, herself a former miner, said will definitely affect the sector positively.
The minister noted: “the small miners, they can dream now. It is unbelievable to me.”
She recalled Minister Jordan’s commitment two years ago to grant the concessions, once small and medium scale miners organised themselves. Minister Broomes advised small miners that the syndicate was about bringing them together, males and females to ensure they were free from ‘bullyism’ and exploitation.
Paul Mc Adam.
Images: Anil Seelall, Kareem Peters.