Government of Guyana Continues to Support Mining Sector, Takes Issue with Misguided and Inflammatory Comments of GGDMA
Georgetown, Guyana; The Ministry of Natural Resources takes note of a statement of the GGDMA dated August 15, 2018 in which very emotive language was used to describe the current state of affairs of the gold mining industry and to condemn the killing of the Brazilian miner in Purini. The Ministry, as does all of Government, is concerned by the recent killing of the miner by a member of the Police Force and is satisfied that charges have been laid against the offending officer. We trust that there will be an expeditious and fair hearing to determine all of the relevant facts and that justice will be served.
On the issue of the purported failure of Government to address the concerns of the industry; this is farthest from the truth. The miners in particular, and the public in general, will recall the numerous efforts made by various Ministries to support the mining community by providing greater incentives for fuel and spares, granting duty free concessions, assisting with the establishment of the National Mining Syndicate and providing mining lands to name but a few of the initiatives that have been introduced and are ongoing.
On June 20, 2018, several Cabinet Ministers met with members of the GGDMA, GWMO and NMS to discuss concerns and hindrances to production and agreed a menu of measures to be implemented. Even now, Cabinet is considering one such proposal raised by the GGDMA.
The GGDMA speaks of respect and yet has publicly challenged the President on issues such as mercury eradication following his attendance at the First Conference of Parties for the Minimata Convention, and given ultimata for a meeting to be held. The Government of Guyana takes issue with the insinuation that the GGDMA has been disrespected by it and wishes to place on record that it endeavours to treat respectfully, all persons, group and organisations In its interfaces. Respect begets respect and if respect is demanded, it first has to be given and be deserving.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and all other Ministries, Agencies and Departments of Government that are directly and indirectly related to the mining industry have a duty to work with the miners – be they small, medium or industrial scale, to achieve high and sustainable yields; whilst paying due regard to good and safe mining and environmental practices.
Government can well appreciate the nervousness of some miners that the emerging green economy and imminent oil production will displace their standing and wishes to assure that the gold mining industry will remain an indelible feature of Guyana’s economy and culture. It is time the GGDMA decided whether it is a political pressure group and a body representing the interests of an elite group, or a partner in national development. The Government of Guyana waits with great expectation for meaningful and respectful engagement, and meanwhile, will continue its efforts to ensure a better organised and regulated mining industry.