The National Mining Syndicate which Minister Simona Broomes has been spearheading has differed with her ministry on the question of available lands at Parish Peak.
A statement from the syndicate follows:
The National Mining Syndicate has noted the statement issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources on April 4, 2017 which suggests that the Parish Peak area located in the Upper Berbice area is restricted to mining.
We wish to make it unequivocally clear that the information stated in the press statement issued by the ministry is inaccurate. The Ministry of Natural Resources said in its statement that during a meeting held on March 29, 2017 Minister Raphael Trotman 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.
“The Minister informed that in the interim the area will remain off-limits,” the statement issued by the Ministry stated.
However, The National Mining Syndicate has information that completely contradicts that which has been issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources. In fact, there are over 90 active mining properties operating in the Parish Peak area and moreover, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has full oversight of these operations.
We find it disheartening to say the least that the Ministry of Natural Resources would in one breath say to the public that the area is “off-limits” knowing fully well that mining continues to occur in the area. The past five years (perhaps longer), has seen active and unrestricted mining in the Parish Peak area.
The National Mining Syndicate has a deep appreciation for the efforts being made by the administration to preserve the country’s biodiversity but believes that a principled and fair decision must be taken to ensure that those who seek mining opportunities are treated equally.
We find it unfair that the Ministry would use the reasoning that the area is a GGMC Reserved Area, one that was held by Goldstone Resources Limited in 1999 and is important for biodiversity given that the Upper Berbice River comprises “pristine lowland forests containing diverse and abundant wildlife” but yet allow persons to aquire land to mine in the area.