Illegal Brazilian-operated river dredges ordered to cease operations
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) yesterday issued cease work orders to three dredges (draga) operating without the requisite documentation in the Essequibo River near Itaballi, Region Seven.
The immediate cease work orders were issued following a surprise visit by Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, and a team of senior officers from the GGMC. The dredges were being operated by Brazilians.
According to a GGMC official, recognizing the breach of operating the river dredges without a licence, the Commission was mandated by Minister Persaud to take necessary action in accordance with the Mining Act and Regulations, such as the issuance of the cease work orders. Further investigations will be conducted to identify additional breaches and instituting the prescribed penalties.
Kaieteur News also understands that the Minister has instructed the GGMC to conduct a series of monitoring and surveillance within the various mining districts to ensure all mining operations comply with set guidelines for sustainable and environmentally friendly mining practices.
Government has tightened its monitoring of illegal mining with restrictions on the level of river mining activities.
High gold prices have seen a rush into the hinterlands by both local and foreign operations, putting GGMC under strain, in terms of monitoring.