Sep 27, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is on a constant campaign to ensure mined out lands are reclaimed, so they are returned to a natural or otherwise useful state. But the campaign is being hampered by inefficient mining practices.
Senior Environmental Officer attached to the Environmental Division of the Commission, Darcy Walrond explained this issue in a recent interview on Kaieteur Radio’s show, Governance, Corruption and Justice.
“Reclamation, it’s part of our regulations,” Walrond said. “And it is now being pushed to the forefront, whereas we as a commission, led by the environmental division, have started to do demonstration sites.”
He explained that there are seven demonstration sites that the GGMC has, to reclaim land. The demonstrations are meant to show that that land can be reclaimed to a point where it can naturally vegetate, or accommodate alternative uses such as agriculture, commercial or recreational.
It is evident to the Commission that there is a lack of knowledge that reclamation is required by law, and this is why sensitization is necessary.
“We’re pushing a strong campaign to do education and awareness. So now, we’re actively going out into the areas to basically bring people up to speed as to why reclamation is important because it is part of the responsible mining process. I think in Guyana, we just look at it as, we just mine to get out the gold,” the Senior Officer said.
Responsible mining, he added, is planning from beginning to end, taking into consideration the fact that future generations must benefit.
The challenge Guyana faces with reclamation is in the methods used to recover the gold.
“Our recovery rates of gold are pretty low. With the technologies that we use right now, it’s pretty low. So, we use the sluicing method, which is hydraulicing over a sluice box or mat, where we try to recover the gold.”
He said that it is not efficient because close to 70 percent of the gold is lost in the process. This poses a pivotal question for miners – Is it economical enough to mine in a given area when the price of gold is low?
Walrond said “It may not be feasible to mine one ounce today, but if the gold price goes up to say $3,000 an ounce, it is feasible.”
In such a situation, he explained that miners may wait until the price is high to go back to an area they have already mined
“Because we don’t recover all the gold properly, miners will keep on revisiting and revisiting an area. So, the inclination or the encouragement to go and reclaim the land to the point where it’s not being used again, it’s a challenge.”
He said, even with the knowledge and awareness, the Commission is working to promote more efficient recovery techniques through improved technologies. This would make it so that miners can more quickly mine out lands to the extent that all that will be left to do with it, is reclamation.
Oct 28, 2021Kaieteur News – Gary Ragnauth hit an attractive 64 to spur Caribbean Sports Club to comfortable 30-run win over Sunrisers last Sunday at Cullen Beach where action continued in the inaugural...
Kaieteur News -I thought that David Granger was strategising by not announcing his candidacy then doing it at the last moment.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – It is nothing short of shocking to learn that, despite the fact that the world... 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]