Miners’ association expresses protection concerns
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) is dissatisfied with the limited numbers of police ranks that are dispatched in mining districts to protect citizens and their properties.
With increases in the price of gold, mining in the interior is a lucrative business that many enjoy. This has attracted an increase in criminal activities that miners feel would reduce if there are enough ranks in the interior.
The association’s president, Patrick Harding stated, “The police who are responsible for interior security are not fully equipped… They don’t have sufficient manpower. They are now getting some new equipment and facilities.”
Harding related that the association’s members are willing to work with the Guyana Police Force to establish new outposts and guide ranks to troubled locations. He is optimistic that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) through its reorganization plan would appoint additional Mines Officers to enforce order in the mining industry.
“When miners mine under GGMC regulations it would help reduce some conflicts they are having: raiding of claims; illegal shops…one cause of security breaches. We are hoping with more manpower they would ensure shops are setup on legal landings and they meet the requirements of an interior shop,” Harding stressed.
He disclosed that the association has requested GGMC to establish a complaints desk to facilitate and quickly resolve miners’ complaints.
“One of the most popular concerns that the Commission will be looking into is the indiscriminate issuance of cease work orders. That order stops the miner from operating, which would be problematic for the miner who would have already invested large sums… These things should be expedited quickly so that the miner could get back to work in the short time possible,” Harding said.