GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Ministry of Natural Resources has noted with interest an article published in the January 16, 2017 edition of the Guyana Chronicle captioned ‘A plea for lands -small miners up calls for unworked lands’. The article highlights complaints from small miners about challenges they have been experiencing as a result of lack of access to mining lands to work.
The Ministry welcomes honest feedback and is committed to engaging members of the public – in this case small miners – with a view to addressing the concerns raised. However, while we empathize with small miners who have genuine challenges, we hereby remind all miners that the Ministry has a system in place that allows eligible miners to access mining lands to work. This system is formalized as the Closed Area Committee (CAC) which is mandated to evaluate and recommend applicants for the allocation of mining lands within possession of the State. However, it must be noted that according to the records of the Closed Area Committee the miners mentioned in the article have not submitted applications for mining lands to the Committee.
The Ministry remains open to working with those and any other miner to ensure they access the support that the Government is granting to miners. As at December 2016, of 300 applications received, the CAC allocated lands to 78% or 235 applicants. Several other applications are in the process of being approved including land for a number of mining syndicates.
The syndicate initiative is a newly developed one that is being supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources. This arrangement would allow for the pooling of resources by groups of small miners who will work together bearing the responsibilities and the benefits of their collective efforts.
The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to strive to improve the livelihood opportunities for small miners and has recently endeavoured to create a Help Desk at the Ministry to assist small miners who are interested in applying for concessions being offered by the Government of Guyana.
January 18, 2017