The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has said that the steep drop in gold prices coupled with high production costs along with a litany of other problems has made 2014 a struggle for survival.
According to the group, it has also been struggling with marginal ore bearing lands; inefficient ore recovery technology; poor maintenances/repairs to hinterland roads and airstrips; non-financing for the mining industry from commercial banks; closure of branches of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB); poor or minimal security/ police outreach for mining districts; the non-presence or unqualified representatives; under staffing and the inefficiency of the Mines Division at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)which has seen the industry battling for survival.
The association has met with various government agencies, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the GGMC and the GGB with the intention of arriving at workable solutions that will alleviate the stated challenges and provide some relief to the mining industry. In a press release, the association said the opening up of more mineral lands to small and medium-scale miners through the recent holding of an auction and lottery will give miners an opportunity to own parcels of land.
The GGDMA is cognisant of the conditions of the hinterland roads and is in the process of awarding contracts for the repair and maintenance of some of the major roadways. “This will alleviate high transportation costs for fuel, rations and supplies to mining location,” it said.
In addition, both the GGDMA and the GGMC are reviewing the sluice box recovery system to demonstrate improving the operating and recovery of the sluice box. Research is also being done on other ore recovery technologies.