The human rights body GHRA today said that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) appears overwhelmed by turmoil in the mining sector.
In a statement it said: “Turmoil reigns in the mining sector with the GGMC appearing to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Due to the attractive price of gold Guyanese from all over the country along with an unknown large number of foreigners (Brazil, Canada, Australia) are invading mining areas. Most small-scale miners are engaged in land dredging (4” hoses) but the tailings still drain into the rivers, particularly at the sources. More rivers are taking on the characteristics of the Konawaruk which years ago was declared to be ‘dead’ by the current Chair of the GGMC. Rivers are being diverted by dredging operations which follow seams wherever they lead. Reports have been received of villages in the Pomeroon head and the Barama river losing most of their wildlife because of logging and mining activities. Dengue, typhoid and malaria testing are not available in most community health centres and the incidence is rising. “
GGMC recently embarked on Operation Eldorado in the mining interior and dozens of illegal miners – mostly Brazilian – have been rounded.