The Ministry of Natural Resources has re-committed to working with Region Nine miners get their operations up and running.
The Marudi Mountain miners, as they are known, have been complaining that an agreement where new lands in Region Nine were allocated has not materialized. Scores of them have no way of earning a living.
The miners have been complaining to the media in recent weeks. Over the weekend, a letter was penned to the media from the President of the Rupununi Mining Association.
According to the ministry, it is taking note of the concerns raised and assures the association and its members that “we have been working assiduously to arrive at solutions that are agreeable to all.”
According to the ministry, it will be recalled that it was instrumental in the signing of a landmark mediation agreement among the different parties – the miners of the Rupununi including women miners, the Amerindian villages of the South Rupununi and Romanex Mining Guyana Limited on whose property the miners operated.
“This agreement paved the way for mining to be able to continue once the environmental, safety and health issues stipulated in the mining regulations are adhered to.”
The mediation agreement called on Romanex Mining Guyana Limited to conduct the necessary social and environmental impact assessments with a view to integrating the Rupununi miners and the concerns of the indigenous communities.
“We can confirm that of the 70 operators who were active when the mediation agreement was signed, just 39 now remain. It will be recalled too that this Ministry just announced that a number of blocks of land have been set aside for displaced miners, including women miners – in an effort to ensure that their economic livelihood is preserved. We ask that miners continue to exercise patience as we work towards solutions.”
The ministry noted that at the last mediation conformity meeting on Friday, September 8, 2017, it was said that in the apportioning of available lands, preference will be given to those individuals who were cooperating with the conformity process.
“Finally, we ask that miners prospect the lands allocated before pronouncing on the geological viability of those lands, in the spirit of the agreement they signed in 2016. For its part, the Ministry will ensure that the GGMC supports the process of prospecting the lands to ascertain geological viability and will also be engaging miners shortly to discuss and agree on a way forward,” the ministry urged.
The miners had clashed with the exploration company forcing authorities to step in.
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