Jul 27, 2020 News
– Writes President painting a different picture
Last year October, the Ministry of Social Protection as well as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) confirmed that geologist, Ryan Taylor, had died due to a mining pit that collapsed at the Region Seven operations of Troy Resources Guyana Inc. (TRGI).
Both state agencies had said that a probe would be conducted into Taylor’s death but the findings were never released. A leaked letter by the head of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams, to the Managing Director of the Australian mining company, Ken Nilsson, has provided some insight in this regard. According to the EPA Head, the reports by the Ministry as well as GGMC state that the company is responsible for Taylor’s death.
Dr. Adams’ June 16 letter containing this startling revelation was carbon copied to President, David Granger as well as other senior government officials such as GGMC Commissioner General, Newell Dennison and Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott. The Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally was also copied. The EPA Head felt it necessary to disclose this information as he felt Troy Resources’ Chief Executive Officer was painting an entirely different picture in a confidential correspondence to the President.
Dr. Adams in his letter said, “As to the passing of Mr. Taylor and statements made by me about the state of affairs at the mine site, your level of dishonest cannot descend any lower when stating ‘This accident was investigated thoroughly by the two State agencies with jurisdiction…both informed the company that they do not regard it as being at fault.”
The EPA Head told the President that both agencies “tell a starkly different story” following his independent checks with the said entities. In the case of the Ministry of Social Protection, Dr. Adams said that this agency’s report “unambiguously concluded” that Troy Resources Guyana Inc.(TRGI) is “entirely responsible” for the death of the geologist and highlighted several causes which were all attributed to TRGI. Dr. Adams also told President Granger as he addressed Nilsson, that the report recommended charges against the mining company for “obstructing an officer in the execution of his official duties, refusal to permit the officer to visit the site, refusal to submit documents formally requested and; failing to report 12 Occupational Diseases.”
As for GGMC’s report, Dr. Adams said that it “definitively ascribed fault to TRGI” for its “acts of negligence…and irresponsible behaviour.”
With the foregoing in mind, Dr. Adams wrote, “It is beyond belief that you would so barefacedly declare to His Excellency, that TRGI was deemed faultless by two State agencies; thus, bringing into question, your claim to be a company of high repute.”
Kaieteur news reached out to the Public Relation Officer of TRGI, Mr. Ajay Baksh for a comment in regards to the statements made by Dr. Adams in his letter to the President and Nilsson. The PRO indicated that the allegations being made against the company were entirely false since the “leaked letter by Dr. Adams has no basis and proof.” “We at Troy Resources have not seen any report. We do not know of any report. We have received a letter and two certificates in which the Ministry has absolved us from these claims,” the PRO said.
Kaieteur News did receive from the PRO, a copy of the letter from Minister Ally dated November 8, 2019 to Nilsson. That letter however, does not state in any sentence or paragraph that the company is not at fault. It only thanked Nilsson for sending a “Situation Report at Troy Resources Guyana Inc.” Kaieteur News has attached the said letter in the interest of public scrutiny.
Furthermore, the two certificates to which the PRO referred, were both received by the company for occupational health and safety before Taylor’s death which occurred in October 2019. One certificate was awarded to Troy on May 15, 2019 while the other is dated April 2018.
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