Natural Resources Ministry to explore mercury alternatives with Suriname

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Ministry of Natural Resources will host a workshop to explore alternatives to the use of mercury in gold mining. The exercise is scheduled for August 20.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman in discussion with Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock

On Wednesday, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, said an invitation has been extended to his Surinamese counterpart to participate in the workshop. “Suriname has banned the use of mercury all together,” Minister Trotman noted.

Suriname will share their experiences in mining, the use of mercury and how it eliminated the chemical from mining practices, Minister Trotman said.

Small and artisanal miners have relied on mercury in their operations for decades. Minister Trotman said it is time Guyana satisfactorily addresses the elimination of the use of mercury in mining.

Guyana is a signatory to the United Nation’s Minamata Convention on Mercury which is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from the dangerous effects of mercury through the elimination of its use.

More recently, the minister blocked the importation of some 30,000 kilogrammes of mercury from Mexico.

Prior to the workshop, Minister Trotman will be meeting with miners and other stakeholders in the mining industry to discuss mercury use and honouring the Minamata Convention.

By: Tiffny Rhodius

Images: Jameel Mohamed

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