As part of the reformation of quarrying operations, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, has suggested that formal training be conducted for sand pit operators by the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
“I’m going to recommend that when we go onsite at these pits the [GGMC] officers talk to the persons on the ground [explaining] what we are measuring and doing so even practically on the ground they can start to have some training in that regard,” Broomes was quoted as saying in a press release from the Department of Information (DPI).
According to the DPI release, the minister’s recommendations includes the setting up of safe operations and the calculations of quantities extracted, and follows her visits to sandpits along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. The minister’s suggestions were among the issues discussed on Tuesday at a meeting between the minister, sandpit operators, licence holders and officials of the GGMC at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Duke Street. The meeting was a follow-up to Broomes’ visits of the highway sandpits.
Broomes is spearheading efforts to ensure greater compliance in the quarrying sector and the collection of outstanding royalty payments which are owed to GGMC.
The GGMC is mulling the reintroduction of a monthly payment system, according to Acting Mines, Manager Krishna Ramdass who explained that the GGMC sold payment books to operators, “and they would use slips … what that really did was to at the end of the month redeem that book to GGMC and pay off that royalty.”
According to the DPI statement, many of the quarry operators, at the meeting, have agreed to work with the ministry to ensure greater compliance in their operations. There is also a proposal for the ministry and GGMC to meet with the operators on a regular basis.
The inspections of sand and loam pits are to gather a “comprehensive overlook” of the sector as part of efforts towards ensuring the GGMC is better equipped to monitor, enforce and recover costs in the quarrying sector.