Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017, 9:48 by Denis Chabrol
Gold miners, who were displaced from the Marudi area in Rupununi, are likely to benefit from new mining lands but government first has to consider the implications for Amerindian lands and the environment.
“This option is being weighed against potential implications for Amerindian titled lands and for biodiversity conservation in the region,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement.
Government said its search for new lands is part of its commitment to ensuring that miners are afforded opportunities to improve their livelihoods.
“This consideration was born after listening to the consistent cries of miners who were displaced from mining in the Marudi area. Such an opening of lands could have spin-off economic benefits for the entire Region 9 and miners in particular,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement.
Irregular mining had threatened to pervade the Marudi Mountain area, as small miners occupied lands associated with Romanex Guyana Exploration Ltd in 2016.
More than 300 small-scale gold miners in and around the Marudi Mountain area had called on the government to take urgent action to regularise their operations in light of the Canadian-owned company resuming operations in the area.
In response to the needs of all parties, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman mobilized a team and following verification, engagements and a formal mediation held between the mining company, the Rupununi Miners’ Association and the Guyana Women Miners’ Organisation, The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Ministry of Natural Resources, ordered the reactivation of the Romanex Guyana Exploration Ltd., mining licence.
“One of the agreed terms of this agreement is that the company, on commencement of exploration and mining, would accommodate miners seeking to mine in the area; provided that they abide by the rules of the company and the laws of Guyana, including the non-use of mercury in their recovery. This process is ongoing,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of Natural Resources said it is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that miners have a livelihood and are able to work without compromising the integrity of the environment or infringing upon the rights of communities within Mining Districts.