Promise kept – govt hosts mining lottery

─ 150 small miners take part

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 22, 2019 

The government has kept its promise and held its first mining lottery in the first quarter of 2019 for small scale miners.

After listening to concerns of residents regarding mining and land allocation during a visit to Mahdia in Region 8 last month, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman revealed that he had taken steps towards holding a lottery to benefit the local community.

The minister had stated that he had written to Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Commissioner, Newell Dennison, about hosting a lottery.

Today, Minister Trotman said he was elated that government had kept its promise. He said for a very long time he felt the frustration of Guyanese who could not access these prospective properties, adding that “today is a good day for miners.”

“Today is a feeling of elation, of satisfaction that something that we wanted to do for some time is actually getting done and I’m happy that it is being done without any controversy or confusion.” 

The exercise got underway just about 10:00hrs at the Girls Guide Pavilion in Brickdam.

Over 150 miners registered and paid a non-refundable participating fee of $5,000 to become eligible for the lottery. They would have also had to provide their National Identification card, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) certificate and proof of address.

Minister Trotman says in today’s group, there were persons who never mined before, but like everyone else, they too had a right to the country’s natural resources.

He said the staff at GGMC had been busy in the background.

“They have been going through coordinates… we have to ensure that the lands are not somebody else’s land and that they have a good prospect for gold recovery.”

In the meantime, many miners related their gratitude and satisfaction.

Alicia Veloza said the miners waited a long time to acquire land in the extraction sector.

“For years we had problems acquiring land, and so we had to work on other people’s land, so this is an opportunity to have our own.”

Minister Trotman says there will be other mining lotteries in various parts of the country; these include Bartica, Mahdia, Port Kaituma and Matthews Ridge.

Felecia Valenzuela.

Images: Keno George.