Nov 06, 2017 News
– COI report
The Commission of Inquiry, (COI) into the collapse of a mining pit which led to the death of Keon Wilson has revealed that officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, (GGMC) failed to ensure that the mining camp operated in keeping with all the necessary laws and regulations outlined by the commission.
According to preliminary findings outlined in the report, the mining camp located at Rock Creek Puruni, Region Seven was identified as an illegal site.
“There is no evidence at GGMC or elsewhere that supports any permission was given by the owner (George Alphonso) to Everton Daly the mining camp operator, to mine on the said claim.“
The report outlined that Daly could not produce to GGMC officers the relevant documents to show that his dredge was licensed and registered.
The inquiry report stated that although GGMC officers learnt that Daly‘s dredge was illegal, they failed to issue him with a removal order, contrary to GGMC regulations.
The regulations make provisions for seizure of equipment in those circumstances.
The document said that GGMC officers (names provided) instead urged Daly to register the unregistered dredge at the Puruni Mining Station with “urgent dispatch” which is contrary to GGMC rules.
Additionally, the officers are said to have visited the camp about a month before the incident occurred, but again they failed to conduct a complete inspection, including Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) checks.
The final COI report into the mining death outlined further that since the site was illegal, GGMC officers should have revisited the mining camp to conduct inspection prior to the incident.
Following the incident, GGMC officers were also found culpable of not conducting adequate investigations or taking statements from witnesses— a minimal requirement for GGMC official engaged in such investigations.
The COI into the mining death was headed by former Army Chief, Gary Best.
The COI was established to probe the circumstances surrounding the mining pit collapse and death of Ann’s Grove resident, Keon Wilson, 33, at Rock Creek, Puruni, Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven). The pit “cave-in” occurred on October 8, 2016.
The COI was set up to investigate, examine, monitor and report regimes that govern areas specifically at Rock Creek, Puruni to determine whether there was compliance with safety operating procedures.
The inquiry was to determine whether there were breaches of any laws, regulations, rules and practices that led directly to, or contributed to the death of Wilson.
Mr. Best was also tasked with enquiring into the actions of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and to report his findings and conclusion to determine the cause of the incident and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
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