LCDS 2030 will not affect mining activities – Min. Bharrat
-Quarrying, Mining and Exploration Conference opens at ACCC
Miners have been assured that the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 will not affect their operations, rather, it will promote low-impact mining and help them to earn more by adding value to their raw materials.
Putting to rest concerns raised by miners following the passage of the LCDS 2030 motion in the National Assembly earlier this month, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat said the strategy will significantly improve the sector’s overall performance.
He was addressing the opening ceremony of the Quarrying, Mining and Exploration Conference, held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Monday. The conference forms part of activities to commemorate mining week 2022.
“We would have made it clear that the LCDS 2030 in no way will stop mining or logging in Guyana. The LCDS 2030 speaks towards responsible, sustainable mining and logging activities. It speaks towards our energy mix as a country, it speaks towards value added, downstream activities, processing and that is where we need to head as a country,” the minister stated.
The LCDS 2030 motion seeks to assist Guyana in getting finance to protect the environment through the preservation of its forest which stores some 99.5 billion tonnes of carbon. It will also ensure Guyana develops in a sustainable manner, while safeguarding the economy.
The minister said adding value to raw materials will help Guyana earn more, as it will create more jobs and business opportunities. He is, however, concerned about people holding properties, and flipping them, instead of producing.
While 12 quarrying licenses were issued over the last two years, only 50 per cent have commenced operation.
The same situation exists in the gold sector.
“That is something that needs to stop, that is something that we will not encourage or tolerate as an agency and as a ministry because we want production. We cannot have people holding properties and we are importing the very minerals that we can produce in Guyana. That is totally wrong and totally unfair to the people of Guyana. You move towards production, it simply means that the country will earn, you will earn, jobs will be created, we will be satisfying the local demand for materials,”the minister said.
Nevertheless, the natural resources minister said he is pleased with the efforts of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to restrict unlawful mining activities.
“We have been doing a good job even though there is much more to be done in terms of curbing illegal mining and illegal activities in our interior regions. We have seen a drastic decline in illegal mining, in raiding, in people going and mine on buffer zones and reserves. We have seen a significant reduction in that,”he disclosed.
Meanwhile, GGMC’s Commissioner Newell Dennison said the conference has over 150 participants.
One of the aims of the conference is to give small miners a platform to highlight challenges and craft a way forward.