Gold mining Syndicates and the fortunes of the sector

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman

Without venturing too deeply into what is known in Guyana as the ‘nitty gritty’ of what appears to be a surge of genuine anger by gold miners comprising the so-called gold mining syndicates, it is difficult to ignore what appears to be the dramatic – and, hopefully, temporary – turnaround in the fortunes of an initiative which, just a few months ago was being hailed as one of the more forward-looking implemented by the APNU-AFC administration in its quest to turn around the economic fortunes of ordinary Guyanese.

The mining sector is, to say the least, complex and when you listen to the syndicate members above the din of their complaints you come to understand that their concerns have to do, chiefly, though not exclusively, with what they believe is a prejudiced regimen that applies to the allocation of mining lands to syndicates and that that prejudice essentially maintains what they say is the ‘big miner’ status quo that applies in the sector.

It seemed at its inception, that the syndicate idea was intended as an initiative to reverse the notion that had become entrenched under the previous political administration that vast tracts of the gold-bearing lands in the country were controlled by a handful of individuals who were effectively functioning as landlords, renting modest portions to smaller, landless minders then promptly evicting them (at least so the story goes) once gold deposits were found.

Some of the miners who enthusiastically embraced the syndicate idea, having ….

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