Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, says that she is dissatisfied with the operations of the Land Management Division of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), arguing that there exists, inequality.
She made this revelation during her recent visit to Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).
The Minister defended small miners, stating that there is an unfair process where small miners are not treated equally. Her comments were fuelled by the complaints she received from small miners about the sloth in being assigned lands.
There were complaints of mistreatment by large-scale miners and dissatisfaction with the general performance of the Division.
Broomes explained that a small miner who has one block of land would approach the GGMC with the intention to pay despite the date of payment already passed. That “ordinary miner” she said, is told that he/she cannot pay for the block. However, a miner who has hundreds of blocks, and who “has not paid for 10, 15, 20 years, would show up at anytime, regardless of time, and is allowed to pay”.
Broomes said that she has a serious problem with that.
“GGMC and myself had a serious run-in with that,”
The Minister posited that the Land Management Division needs to improve its services and revealed that there will soon be amendments to the regulations that govern the functioning of the GGMC. She noted that this will be done in consultation with operatives in the industry.
Minister Broomes’ revelation of amendments would come against the background of a review of the Acts and Regulations of the regulatory agencies under the Ministry of Natural Resources which was conducted last year. It was discovered that there exists many loopholes among other issues.
Meanwhile, Broomes also dismissed claims that the syndicate project seeks to provide more lands to bigger miners.
“I want to put it on record that is not true. The persons that came forward for the syndicate are the persons who need the opportunity,” the Government Information Agency quoted the Minister as saying.
Broomes has ministerial responsibility for the syndicate project which was introduced by the Ministry of Natural Resources last year as part of measures to make mining lands available for small miners.
The minister has been visiting with small miners across the country to work with them on establishing syndicates and begin the application process.
Syndicates in Mahdia and Bartica were among the first to be established and began the process of mining on the lands they have acquired.
Broomes had visited with Issano, Kurupung and Imbaimadai to help the small miners in those communities.
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