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Several countries asked to map Guyana’s mineral resources

China is the latest of several countries that Guyana is receiving help from to map its gold, diamond and other geological resources to avoid “blind” exploration, a top official said Sunday.

Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud said his country clinched a deal with China Geological Survey at the just concluded 2014 China Mining Conference and Exposition held in Tianjin.

He told AFP that a technical team from China Geological Survey is expected to travel to the South American country to hold preparatory talks for geological mapping of “vast tracks of land.”

Persaud said the state regulatory agency, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), would use the data to advise current and prospective miners where is the best location for reserves of gold, diamonds, manganese and other precious minerals and stones.

“It is the way in which the sector is moving across the world, more geological survey work than going blindly into mining. It is to avoid blind mining in which there is environmental degradadtion and destruction and then you find out there is nothing beneath there,” he said.

Guyana is also receiving assistance from Chile, Canada, Argentina in mineral mapping. “We are working with different countries’ geological surveys so that they can assist us in mapping the geological resources of the country,” said the minister.

Asked whether Guyana was not concerned about such valuable and vital information being in possession of other countries, the minister said such data would be the property of the State.

Guyana last year produced more than 452,000 ounces of gold and 55,000 karats of diamonds. Work is currently ongoing in north-western Guyana near Venezuela to resume manganese production for the first time after several decades. The country is also said to be rich in uranium and rare-earth minerals.