Safety regulations to improve mining sector, curb illegal practices – Minister Trotman

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 12, 2018

In light of recent protests by Mahdia residents over the enforcement operation, the Ministry of Natural Resources wishes to reaffirm that the enforcement operation seeks to curb the practice of illegal mining, address mines safety, and improve mining practices overall.

The ministry also desires to inform the public that the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman had ordered this immediate operation since illegal and unsafe mining practices have continued to result in fatal accidents in the mining areas of Guyana.

It has been reported by Mines Manager (ag), Krishna Ramdass that Mahdia has had the majority of mining accidents for 2018, seeing a reported fourteen (14) deaths from January 23 to October 1. This is a great cause of concern for the minister and government and should be the same for others.

The Ministry understands that compliance and enforcement operations are not well received by persons who do not meet the standards given to operate. It is not pleasing having these done but the cooperation of everyone is sought to ensure that the exercise is concluded expeditiously and efficiently.

The lives of mines workers are of great value to Minister Trotman, and it is hoped that mine operators value them the same. More so, it is the minister’s hope that miners value the villages and communities adjoining where they perform mining activities. Unfortunately, this is not entirely so, and enforcement of compliance becomes necessary.

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Corps of Wardens have been tasked with executing this enforcement operation and are expected to follow the procedures outlined for execution. The GGMC is further expected to work with those not in compliance, to ensure they can return to work as soon as reasonably possible; providing that there is an expressed agreement to comply with the law and/or be registered.

To date, information reaching the ministry indicates that miners, whose equipment were seized, were previously warned that their operations were not in compliance. Although they may have communicated to the GGMC that compliance steps would be taken, they were unsuccessful in doing so.

The effects of illegal mining have been well documented by the ministry, it threatens the lives of workers in the mining pits, also the livelihoods of others. The minister recognizes the effects of the operations on persons directly and indirectly, but for the sake of preserving lives and livelihoods, it is advised that the operation be allowed to ensure the preservation of the aforementioned.

Miners are again encouraged to ensure that their documents and operations are in compliance with mining practices so as to avoid issues with the process.

Ministry of Natural Resources

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