Non-traditional minerals attracting increased investments
Mining Week launched…
- Gold and bauxite continue to grow
As traditional mining sectors such as gold and bauxite continue to grow, many investors are expressing interests in other mineral properties found in Guyana’s hinterland.
This was expressed by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Persaud, who revealed that the Manganese operation in Matthew’s Ridge, Region One, which was recently rejuvenated, has already shown deposit of 30 million metric ton, thus far.
Persaud also briefed attendees of the opening ceremony of Mining Week 2012 yesterday at the National Park that exploration works have started for uranium, while Government is in the process of concluding prospecting licenses for iron ore and rare earth.
He emphasized that Government has to ensure that the entire sector is developed in such a way that the potential of the country’s mineral wealth is achieved.
Operators in the industry, particularly those involved in gold mining have been enjoying high prices.
“Certainly, the opportunity for all of us to maximize this window of pricing exists and we want to ensure that we support the sector, be it through the (Guyana Geology and Mines Commission) GGMC in ensuring we have greater efficiency in terms of how we interact with small, medium and large scale players so that they move quickly to their operations and get into the business of mining,” Persaud said.
According to Persaud, mining accounts for 58 percent of the country’s total export earnings and 11 percent of Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product.
Investments in the sector are within the vicinity of $20B, while taxes earned from the industry is about $5B.
Mining, he said offers 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. He noted that the target for this year’s gold production is over 400,000 ounces.
Expressing Government’s commitment to the industry, Persaud said that there needs to be equity in the mining sector. He added that Government is in the process of concluding discussions focusing on special arrangements for small miners such as women and youths.
While President Donald Ramotar canceled his appearance at the function, Presidents of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association, Patrick Harding and Guyana Women Miners’ Organization, Simona Broomes showed their commitment to the industry.
Highlighting some of the challenges in sector, Harding pointed out that alternative for mercury, which will be banned on the international market in 2013, is needed for Guyana’s mining industry.
He noted that the industry needs to find an effective recovery system since the sluice box is not the best recovery tool.
He encouraged Government to conduct training and provision of technical and financial assistance for small and medium scale miners.
Focusing on women in the industry, Broomes related that the organization is in the process of compiling a database to show the contributions of women. So far, the organization has account of over 700 women who are dredge operators and owners of businesses in the interior.
She expressed hope that soon a model of women mining would be established. Broomes stated the organization’s commitment towards working with their male counterparts to develop the industry.
Emphasizing on the theme of Mining Week, “Investment and Technological Growth for Sustainability in the Mining Sector,” GGMC’s Commissioner Karen Livan said that the industry is building on success.
According to Livan, GCMC registers its success in mineral production, exploration, mineral processing and reclamation. She noted that GGMC has three reclamation sites and there is movement in the area of re-vegetation.
After the official opening ceremony, officials and exhibitors, who made up majority of the crowd, visited the various booths which showcased heavy duty machinery, supplementary products and information on services provided in the sector.
Quarrying, which is often times not considered as part of mining, took its rightful position on the National Park tarmac.
C.K. Sharma, Sales and Marketing Manager of Toolsie Persaud Inc. related that the company is utilizing the one week exhibition to promote its products.
MACORP, which is known for heavy duty machinery, and services about 400 clients in the interior, displayed its new Alpha Laval High Speed Efficient Fuel Separator. According to Service Manager, Andres Reyes Pelaez, this equipment which separates particles from fuel will help to maintain the equipment.