On April 22, 2018 the Kaieteur News carried a letter written by “concerned citizen” under the heading “This Government is ignoring the plight of the Marudi small miners”. Please allow a response to matters carried within that letter.
The writer stated that they were seeking to “reclaim what is rightfully ours”. According to the Mining Act of 1989; Section 6: “All minerals within the lands of Guyana shall vest in the State.” The State has delegated that authority to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission through the GGMC Act of 1979.
Section 7:3 of the said Mining Act states:
“A licence or permit under this Act to enter on State lands and there search or mine for, take and appropriate, minerals may be granted by the Commission.”
In keeping with Section 7:3, the GGMC granted a Mining Licence to the company Romanex since 2009.
The Rupununi Miners’ Association in their proposal is advocating that the government give them Mazoa Mountain and in addition, the government should excise the said lands from the Romanex Licence.
It would indeed “be bad for business” should the State arbitrarily revoke a licence issued to one person or company – a legitimate holder of a Mining Licence from the State – and give it to another. This would lead to a lengthy court battle where no one benefits.
Let us put the shoe on the other foot; if the Rupununi Miners’ Association were in possession of a Mining Licence for the area, would they accept the Government revoking their licence to give the area to someone else?
In their letter, the Rupununi Miners’ Association failed to mention that they entered into a mediated agreement that they have now refused to honour. This is unacceptable.
Public Affairs and
Ministry of Natural Resources