Mining sector saw positive changes within recent years – Min. Trotman

has become more environmentally conscious

 DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

 Strides have been made in the mining sector in Guyana within recent years. According to Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Trotman, these changes have ensured efficiency and effectiveness in the industry and have also saved lives. 

The Natural Resources Minister said beginning at the exploration stage, cutting edge technologies have helped eliminate some of the risk associated with prospecting. 

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Trotman at the opening of the Mining and Quarrying Conference and Award Ceremony at the Pegasus Hotel.

“We have Lidar surveys, satellite imagery, improved geophysical and geochemical analysis which allows for multi-element recognition which means that even before one spade of earth is mined, a miner can be assured of the potential returns on his and her investment.”

Acknowledging the many traditional ‘porknockers’ and small miners in the sector, the minister stated that the government appreciates their sacrifice, which he noted have added significantly to gold declarations.

On advancement in the sector, Minister Trotman said it is a long way from the days of river mining.

“When the only means to recover gold was by diving down under the river waters, using only a suction hose to breathe, then digging by hand with a hand spade, filling bags and sending the earth back to the surface.”

He noted this was an extremely dangerous endeavour and many divers lost their lives.

The Natural Resources Minister was adamant that in the 150-plus years of organised mining in Guyana, the industry has grown leaps and bounds. He added that it continues to rapidly expand, without losing efficacy and relevance even as the “black gold of oil”, was about to flow.

“So much so, that I am extremely confident that oil will draw parallel, but never replace mining for its importance and value to the people and culture of Guyana.”

Minister Trotman added that he was especially proud of the fact that the sector has become more environmentally conscious with regulations governing environmental management.   

“In the early ‘90s few regulations were governing environmental management. In fact, then the rivers were considered as suitable for dumping grounds for waste materials coming out of mining.”

The minister was happy to report that more people and communities were now aware that clean water was one of the most valuable natural resources. Adding that significant progress has also been made in reducing the use of mercury in small scale mining. 

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