Marudi Mining Agreement is not a new mining licence

-company to conduct prospecting, small miners granted Special Mining Permit  

The Ministry of Natural Resources said it has taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders relating to mining activities in Marudi, Region Nine and wish to clarify the misinformation being peddled by a small group of persons.

In a release Tuesday, the ministry said the onset of mining exploration and prospecting activities in Marudi began in the early 1940s by various companies such as:

The Rupununi Gold Company 1946-1949

NorMan Mines Ltd.- 1981

Noranda Inc-1984

Eastern Caribbean Mining Development (Guyana) Ltd-1988-1990

Romanex Guyana Exploration Ltd -Sutton Resources Ltd- 1990-1999

Vanessa Ventures Ltd-1999-2005

As such the current agreement is NOT a new prospecting or mining licence, however, there have been small scale mining in Marudi since in the early 1980s by mostly Amerindians.  

The release said to ensure the sustainable management of Guyana’s natural resources, the current administration cancelled the Romanex mining licence effective November 01, 2021, to allow small miners in Region Nine an opportunity to engage in small scale mining activities. It said this will stimulate community economic activities for small businesses, local suppliers and farmers.

The ministry said a Prospecting Licence (PL) was subsequently issued to Aurous Mining Inc. It explained that a PL is only for prospecting. No mining is allowed within the boundaries of a PL, it stressed.

“The PL specifically states that the “Licensee is granted the exclusive right to occupy for the purpose of exploring for Gold and Precious Metals and Minerals but not to be worked for a profit”.  The PL holder is required to furnish the Commission with all the results of any exploration work on a semi-annual basis,” the release stated.

Furthermore, the Licensee will implement a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme of up to US $250, 000 over the life of the PL, which will directly benefit surrounding Amerindian Communities. Therefore, for the five-year validity of the PL, there will be no large-scale mining by the company in the Marudi area, except by the Region Nine small scale miners. A Special Mining Permit (SMP) was granted to regulate and monitor their mining activities, the ministry stated.

“The SMP encompasses approximately 1000 acres within the Marudi area which is the only permitted location where mining will be allowed. The SMP is being issued with a number of strict conditions that include; a Mine Plan, a Mine Closure Plan, a Social Responsibility Plan and an Environmental Management Plan, all of which have to be approved by the GGMC and adhered to by the miners. An Environmental Bond will be required to be paid to the Commission while more importantly, the SMP prohibits any Mercury Use. It should be noted that the SMP is restricted to 40 Miners once registered with the Rupununi Miners Association Co-operative Society Limited.”

The ministry stated further, that those are the same miners who were in Marudi when Major General (retd) Joe Singh was requested to conduct mediation to regulate mining activities within the area.

Hence, several follow up consultations were held in Marudi and Georgetown, with several interest groups, officials from the Region Nine RDC, villagers from Marudi/Aishalton and other stakeholders. At the consultations, several issues were raised, especially concerns relating to the environment and health and safety. As a result, numerous safeguards were included in the Prospecting Licence and the Special Mining Permit in keeping with the GGMC’s Mining Act and Regulations.

Additionally, five temporary Mines Officers were employed by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission from Region Nine to assist with monitoring and enforcement of the conditions as outlined in the PL and SMP. This is in keeping with the commitment of the current administration to provide economic opportunities, while at the same time, safeguarding the environment to ensure the sustainable exploitation and management of Guyana’s natural resources for all Guyanese.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the GGMC said they remain committed to engaging in constructive discussions with all stakeholders to ensure goodwill and understanding prevail and dispel misinformation.