Stricter guidelines for importation, use of mercury

─ GGMC, EPA and Pesticide board to sign MOU

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Ministry of Natural Resources will, next week, sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pesticide Toxic Chemical Control Board on the importation of mercury into the country.

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Trotman announced that the binding agreement, which provides strict guidelines for the importation and usage of mercury in Guyana, will be inked on Friday, August 30.

Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael Trotman.

“We are going to ensure that there is a limited amount [of mercury] at all times and not just an open importation process. You will have to account for what you have done with the quota allotted, how has it been disposed of, which miner(s) have used, so that we can track it in a better way,” the minister told a news conference.

The government has already been “doing a better job”, as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), EPA and the GGMC have been working together, getting a better sense of what is coming in and where it is being stored.

According to Minister Trotman, the government has been seeing requests for the importation of mercury and has information that some might even be taken across borders. The government is, however, monitoring the stock in hand.

“We have not made it easy and in some cases, we have not granted permission for the quantity asked for. All of this is part of us gaining greater control. We are just streamlining so that we can protect it in a much better way,” Minister Trotman assured.

A signatory to the Minamata Convention, Guyana’s government has committed to eradicating the use of mercury in mining. The Minamata Convention was signed and ratified for the eradication of the use of mercury, a mineral used to amalgamate gold.