The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has observed that the Berbice Mining Syndicate has been speaking in the media about lack of access to the Parish Peak area and says this area is off-limits.
According to a MNR press release, at a meeting on March 29th between the ministry and various mining syndicates, the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman had informed the head of the Berbice Mining Syndicate that there are environmental and forest certification considerations that have to be assessed before any decision can be made about accessing the area for mining purposes, and that in the interim, the area will remain off-limits. The media bulletin noted that the syndicates were reminded that not all lands applied for or in which interest is shown, can and will be allocated, and that the President had appointed a Lands Commission to review and make recommendations on the use of interior lands. The Berbice syndicate, like all others, will be accommodated to the best of Government’s ability and must abide by the guidelines and rules agreed at the aforesaid meeting.
According to the ministry’s release the area in question is a Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Reserved Area which had been held by Goldstone Resources Ltd. in 1999. A Biodiversity Assessment Team Survey in 2014 had determined that the area is important for biodiversity as the Upper Berbice River region comprises pristine lowland forests containing diverse and abundant wildlife.
The press release said that the Report has recommended stringent monitoring by the relevant regulatory agencies including the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the GGMC, along with the local residents and relevant communities, to ensure compliance with Guyana’s regulations and laws, and to prohibit unauthorized activities and regulate wildlife harvesting according to the 2013 Guyana Wildlife Management and Conservation regulations.