Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, instructed that there be a review of all the licences issued to gold dealers authorized to burn the amalgam off of sponge gold.
Trotman wanted all the facilities across the country where gold is burnt, to be inspected and based on the result of the inspection, the dealers would either be stripped of their licences or given the go ahead to continued operations.
However, that process has been put on hold. The exercise was to be undertaken by the Guyana Gold Board but lacks capacity.
Gold Board’s General Manager, Eondrene Thompson, explained to Kaieteur News that the entity will now have to seek external help.
She said, “The Guyana Gold Board is not armed with that expertise. We have to put together a plan of action of what we are going to check for and what course of action will be taken. So far that was not done. But it is on the to-do list.
“Once we give licence, we usually send officers to check out what is happening but we have not really licensed any new dealer. All these dealers are seasoned dealers, they have been there ever since. But some of the dealers have their facility on par because they look for these top people, these Brazilians to set up their facility.
Trotman had directed that facilities be checked following media reports about the severe effects of the mercury emissions from the Gold Board Laboratory at Brickdam. He said that his instruction was a manifestation of his desire to ensure that Guyanese living close to the private gold burning labs are not at risk.
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