The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) is calling on the government to enforce the established Road Users Agreement to monitor the weight of supplies which are being transported on vehicles, in a bid to prevent the interior roads from being destroyed.
In a press release last week, the miners’ association said that while it welcomes the recent efforts by the government to maintain and improve the interior roads, airstrips and landings, it is calling for the enforcement of the established Road Users Agreement.
The statement said that the agreement stipulates and monitors weight restrictions for trucks and other vehicles which are transporting fuel and other supplies at key points such as Linden and Bartica. The GGDMA is of the view that some trucking services are damaging the roads in the interior which have to be used by the miners and other stakeholders, by transporting cargo in excess of the weight restrictions as stipulated in the Road Users Agreement.
In addition to preventing the roads from being easily damaged by overweight vehicles, the association added that it is hoping that the implementation of the agreement would also encourage a culture of responsible use of the interior roads.
The GGDMA noted that when the roads are destroyed there is increased down time, and consequently, an increase in operational costs to miners and other persons who traverse the roadways.
“Additionally, many of our miners’ trucks and other equipment are being severely damaged due to these deplorable roads. This once again puts additional financial pressure on the miner as unnecessary maintenance cost,” the statement said, while adding that it was also making a call to the service providers to make a concerted effort to improve their overall provision and to stop overloading their trucks, especially given the forthcoming rainy season which leaves the roads susceptible to easy damage.
The association added that it recognizes that the infrastructure in the mining districts was developed through the efforts of bauxite, manganese, gold and diamond miners together with forest concessionaires and the government, and as such, it submits that the sharing of responsibilities and facilities by the various stakeholders is fundamental to the continuous development of the extractive and other industries.
“Gold and diamond mining continues to be the main economic driver of development in Guyana and safe, reliable and efficient passenger and cargo services are critical to the success of mining operations,” the statement said.