Jan 03, 2018 News
Several miners are quietly shouting, “disadvantage!” They contend that while they are getting a hard time securing a few acres of land, prominent miner, Hilbert Shields, is being given several thousands.
Shields is a member of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Board of Directors. GGMC is the very body that approves the allocation of mining lands.
Kaieteur News understands that during the tenure of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) administration, Shields acquired a prospecting licence to explore thousands of acres of land. He is now in the process of converting those prospecting lands to regular mining lands.
Prospecting licence entitles the holder to tax concessions, duty free concessions on fuel, equipment and vehicles. For these benefits, the licence holder agrees to fulfill certain requirements stipulated by government.
One miner said, “I am not particularly interested in Mr. Shields and his runnings. However, it is very unfair to miners, including myself, when Mr. Shields can choose the best lands in the country, take more than 12,000 acres for himself and receive millions of dollars in Government concessions.
“Then, without fulfilling the government’s requirements he converts theses lands into regular mining lands and continues to exploit the system.”
The miner continued, “To further the injustice, when I or any other miner apply for a block which is 1200 acres, Mr. Shields is one of the GGMC officials who makes the decision to deny us. This is the case even though we receive no benefits from the government and have to pay our taxes. It is unfair, very unfair.”
According to the GGMC website, “Medium scale permits cover areas between 150 and 1200 acres…” Shields applied for medium scale permits. However, he made several applications. When combined, Shields is seeking almost 12,000 acres of land, all in the same area.
“But it is still being considered medium scale because no single application exceeds 1200. By staying in the medium scale category, Shields is able to skillfully avoid the extra requirements which come along with applying for lands as a large scale miner.
Shields is the same Director who is currently renting his building to GGMC. Sources at the Commission are saying he has a heavy hand there.
The building being rented is located at Fourth Street, Subryanville.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, has admitted to being aware of the incestuous rental arrangement.
However, Trotman said that Shields was not a member of a sub-committee of the Board that decided to rent the building. Trotman also said that when the matter was brought to his attention, he instructed GGMC that for the sake of good practice, to discontinue use of the building.
Despite such an instruction, GGMC continues to rent the facility and is yet to even locate an alternative.
GGMC’s Chairman, Newell Dennison, confirmed that the building is still being rented.
He said that the Commission made a decision to rent the property at a time when “Shields had nothing to do with GGMC.” Initially, Dennison said that all negotiations and arrangements were in place since September 2016.
He later said that it might have been October the same year.
Dennison said, “It was definitely late 2016. And at that time, Shields was not a Director.”
Shields became a GGMC Director early 2017, around the same time that the building was first occupied. Dennison said that this was just “coincidental”.
“It just so happened that we moved into the building around the same time that he became a Director.”
Dennison then refused to say how much the Commission is paying its Director each month for the rental of the building. He said, “I do not have to tell you that.”
Dec 06, 2021ExxonMobil National Indoor Hockey Championships… Kaieteur News- The Guyana 40s and 50 Not Out proved that they belonged in the men’s senior division by both securing a semi-final berth as the...
Dec 06, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Kaieteur News – My hair is grey. In the Kaieteur Radio studio, James Bond looked at me and commented on my grey hair.... more
Kaieteur News- The bulk of the masquerade bands which are parading the streets are a disgrace. They are doing a grave injustice... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]