MoIPA, GGMC met with Batavia’s Village Council to address mining issue

–  Miner at the center of the controversy notably absent despite being invited

– Minister Garrido-Lowe is hopeful the situation will be addressed at the earliest

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, 06 October 2018

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe on Wednesday met with representatives of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Batavia Village Council to address concerns raised with regard to the operations of a mining claim in the village.

The miner at the center of matter, Rickey Ramnarine, who was invited to attend Wednesday’s meeting was notably absent, however, the meeting proceeded.

Late September, villagers had cause to stop mining operations after Ramnarine’s workers moved onto their titled land with several pieces of heavy-duty equipment intended for mining purposes. This caused some amount of disquiet between the two and since then efforts to engage the miner proved futile.

Minister Garrido-Lowe has indicated that the village has done a good job putting their demands on the table. She is hopeful the situation will be addressed at the earliest.

Following the meeting, Toshao Oren Williams said this was the third time the miner failed to meet to address the issue after being invited to prior engagements.
Another meeting is scheduled for early next week.

At a village meeting held on September 21, villagers agreed that for the mining operations to continue Ramnarine must comply with several conditions set out.
Among them:- top priority must be given to villagers of demarcated mining blocks since it is important for them to know the mining borders of Ramnarine’s two claims, of which said miner has three days to complete same after agreement is reached.

Mining must be done in accordance with the agreement between the miner and the village, Royalties must be paid, the number of excavators allowed In cases of emergencies, Ramnarine must be able to provide assistance to the village, when clearing land – all marketable logs must be put on a ramp identified by the village council and the present General Manager, Shawn Haynes be immediately replaced because of his disrespectful behavior towards residents.

Additionally, Ramnarine must seek permission from the  village council before any road/s are constructed, pay a toll gate fee as decided by village and hire at least two villagers on each mining camp crew.
According to the document, penalties will be instituted should Ramnarine fail to meet the following conditions.

Alethea Grant

Communications Officer

Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs

 

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