Explosives find blows lid on illegal mining

The explosives that were found over the weekend at Karisparu, North Pakaraimas are believed to be just a fraction of what is being used by Brazilians to illegally blast stone during gold mining operations and this practice raises questions about the destruction of the environment.

A senior police source told Stabroek News yesterday afternoon that the four Brazilian miners who were held in the mining camp where 176 explosives were unearthed are still in police custody as investigations continue. It is unclear if the Brazilians are here legally and if they have the required documentation to mine here.

Stabroek News was told that from all indications, the explosives were to be used during mining. It was explained to this newspaper that explosives are used during mining to blast away rock and trees to get to the gold. The police official explained that to engage in this practice permission must first be sought from the police.

Based on what this newspaper was told none of the four men had such  permission.

The source explained that in some areas like Baramita in the north west, miners encounter stone which has to be first removed before gold can be found. In areas like the north west  it was explained, miners don’t have such difficulties because of the terrain. There they just have to dig.

Meanwhile a security source pointed out that a lot of Brazilians are continuing to operate here illegally. The source said that he does not believe that the Brazilians in the case of the explosives had an ulterior motive.

The source noted that Brazilian camps are like  small communities and contain high tech pieces of equipment. It was stressed that they ought to be regulated especially since the mining practices are causing damage to the environment.

Meanwhile, this newspaper was told that police are still verifying information that one of the four was involved in the murders of two Kato- based policemen – constables Marlon Letlow and Leadon Aaron.

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