The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) have identified several blocks of mining lands for miners who are part of the South Rupununi Miners’ Association and former occupiers of Romanex Mining lands in Marudi, Region 9.
According to a release on Friday from MNR, this was in accordance with a commitment which had been given to the miners.
Of the blocks set aside, some will be assigned to the Rupununi Miners’ Association while another is identified for administration by the Guyana Women Miners’ Organisation (GWMO) for its members who are operating in Mining District 6. The new lands being made available are contiguous to the Romanex Concession, MNR said.
Given the difficulties faced by a number of small miners after they were required to vacate the Romanex property, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman committed to working with the GGMC to find a long-term solution that would see the miners enjoying the use and benefits of their own concessions.
The release said that MNR continues to impress upon miners the importance of prospecting before mining since this can make the venture cost-effective and prevent unnecessary damage to the environment. The Ministry also stressed the need for the observance of sound environmental and mining practices including, land reclamation, to ensure that the lands can be used in an environmentally sustainable and beneficial manner during and after mining. The miners are also being reminded that the wellbeing of residents of surrounding communities is of utmost importance and should not be disturbed or affected by mining activities.
The move to new lands is part of an agreed set of measures for the smooth conduct of an ongoing Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in the area, which Romanex Guyana Exploration Limited is required by law to complete before it can begin full-fledged operations can commence. In April 2016, the release noted that the gov’t through Minister Trotman intervened in a standoff between small miners from the Marudi Mountain area, representatives of indigenous communities and Romanex Guyana Exploration Limited and facilitated a historic mediation process with the help of Major-General retired Joe Singh. The release noted that the mediation resulted in all parties signing the ‘Mediation of the Marudi Mountain Mining Dispute Agreement’ that would guide future engagements to finalize a solution.
Trotman plans to have a consultation with the relevant stakeholders including, representatives of the South Rupununi indigenous communities, during the second week of February 2018 to receive further feedback.