I wish to debunk the explanation provided by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) in relation to its ‘mutual-benefit’ support for the appointment of the acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Mr Rickford Vieira as Commissioner, which was published by Stabroek News on August 29 (‘The GGDMA has two representatives sitting on the Board of the GGMC’).
Editor, I didn’t state this in my previous letter, but I am now highlighting why I am concerned about the affairs of the GGDMA and the GGMC. For over fifteen years I have been an active small-scale miner following in my father’s footsteps and I am convinced that the GGDMA is not concerned about small miners. It is evident that the GGDMA is only concerned about the affairs of its executive members and medium-scale miners.
However, since the creation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, there has been a sense of small miners feeling valued and included in the sector. I believe this is where the GGDMA is scared of losing the footing of its membership and is now supportive of the Commissioner’s appointment to gain his trust and support to repair the image of the GGDMA in relation to small miners. Or am I to believe that the GGDMA is just comfortable with the way in which the acting Commissioner is managing the sector?
I challenge any independent body to do an assessment and enquire of the support if any that the GGDMA is providing to small miners’ development. The GGDMA gives the appearance of only being willing to work along with the GGMC to solve the problems of a few well-off gold miners. How often does the GGDMA interact with small miners? We are fed up of not being represented, and furthermore, several other mini associations have been formed to represent small miners specifically, and have been successful.
The current reality is that small miners have been sidelined by the GGDMA which has been promoting its executives and medium-scale miners. Further, the GGDMA should focus on real issues to support small miners rather than satisfying its high level clientele in the Association and the GGMC.
Additionally, I am aghast as to why I am being referred to as ‘Archer’ by Mr Sparman in his response to my letter.
Terence William (Sr)