MNR concerned with GTT employees mercury level; will assist in every way possible
Press Release, Ministry of Natural Resources – Thursday, August 23, 2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources takes note of an article headlined ‘Lab tests reveal high mercury levels in some GTT employees’ in today’s edition of the Kaieteur News.
The Ministry acknowledges that there has been an exchange of correspondence between the Ministry and GTT pertaining to the elevated levels of mercury reportedly detected in some staff members. The Ministry is deeply concerned about the health and wellbeing of all Guyanese and hopes for the improved health of those affected.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reiterates that:
- mercury has been in use in Guyana for decades
- mercury is used by miners in the amalgamation of “sponge” gold and in the burning of gold mercury vapours are released
- the Government of Guyana is NOT a user of mercury
- every effort is made by the Guyana Gold Board and authorised dealers to prevent the escape of vapours in the process
- the Guyana Gold Board ceased burning gold at its Brickdam location as of April 2018
- the Ministry of Natural Resources, is collaborating with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Protection to address all mercury-related matters
- the National Steering Committee for the Minamata Convention met on August 13th to map the way forward for the reduction of the use of mercury in mining
The Ministry is engaging the management of GTT and assures that we will assist in every way possible.