Nov 15, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – With an increase in the number of persons working in the mining sector, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has committed to continue its lobbying of the Government of Guyana to address the issues plaguing the mining sector while seeking additional benefits.
“The number of persons entering the mining industry is on the rise, we have seen more new entrants both foreign and local. The industry is continuing to grow as is our membership,” GGDMA’s President Andron Alphonso said at the Association’s 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently.
According to a Press Release issued by the Association, Alphonso announced that through lobbying efforts and collaboration with the Government, GGDMA has been able to ‘unlock several benefits for miners’. Among the benefits mentioned were tax incentives.
During his report on the progress for the reporting year, the GGDMA President said that while concessions have been given to the industry, there remain a number of issues which ought to be addressed. Among those issues are: the rising cost of production, the lack of adequate infrastructure, labour shortages, and the ongoing effort to find a concrete solution that will allow the industry to transition to mercury free mining.
Additionally, a mandate was requested by the executives of the GGDMA, and subsequently granted by the membership present, to allow for a review of the organisation’s original charter and to subsequently propose necessary changes in keeping with the current needs of the sector.
According to the Press Release, Alphonso said that Association intends to focus on and lobby for the renewal of the Investment Development Agreements (IDAs) for miners, improved infrastructure for the sector, the opening of new mining lands, the allowance for miners to have the option to be paid up to 100% of funds earned from gold sales in foreign currency and the removal of restrictions on the age of ATVs for which waivers can be garnered.
GGDMA’s Administrative Manager, Avalon Jagnandan said the Association has launched an initiative to support miners in need of work grounds. Jagnandan said that several mining blocks would be made available to miners of all scales. He urged miners to visit GGDMA’s Secretariat for more information.
Meanwhile, miners raised concerns over the increase in malaria cases in the hinterland and called on the Ministry of Health to provide more support to the mining sector. GGDMA Members also urged the Association to continue its lobby of the Government for new roads; rehabilitation and upgrading of existing roads, bridges and airstrips; to examine a reduction in late fees charged by the GGMC, to seek additional funding for Mercury Free Mining Technology and to engage with banks and suppliers for better financial terms for the industry.
The 38th AGM meeting was the first large gathering of the Association since May 2022, when the members of the GGDMA met with Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC). At that meeting, the Vice-President had announced a number of measures that will be implemented to assist the mining industry.
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