Displaced Marudi miners get mining blocks
Displaced Marudi Mountain miners will have several blocks of mining lands, the Ministry of Natural Resources announced Friday.
The Ministry said the blocks would be for miners who are part of the South Rupununi Miners’ Association and former occupiers of Romanex Mining lands in Marudi, Region 9.
“Of the blocks earmarked, some will be allocated to the Rupununi Miners’ Association while another is identified for administration by the Guyana Women Miners’ Organisation (GWMO) for its members who are operating in Mining District 6.
“The new lands being made available are contiguous to the Romanex Concession,” the Ministry stated.
The miners are those who were required to vacate the Romanex property; Minister Raphael Trotman had committed to working with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to find a long-term solution that would see the miners enjoying the use and benefits of their own concessions.
The Ministry underscored the need for miners the importance of prospecting prior to the commencement of mining since this can make the venture cost-effective and prevent unnecessary damage to the environment.
“The Ministry also stresses the need for the observance of sound environmental and mining practices including, land reclamation, to ensure that the lands can be used in an environmentally sustainable and beneficial manner during and after mining,” the Ministry stated.
Miners were also reminded that the wellbeing of residents of surrounding communities is of utmost importance and should not be disturbed or affected by mining activities.
The move to new lands is part of an agreed menu of measures to facilitate the smooth conduct of an ongoing Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in the area, which Romanex Guyana Exploration Limited is required by law to complete before full-fledged operations can commence.
In April 2016, the Government of Guyana through Minister Trotman intervened in a standoff between small miners from the Marudi Mountain area, representatives of indigenous communities and Romanex Guyana Exploration Limited and facilitated a historic mediation process with the help of Major-General retired Joe Singh.
The successful mediation resulted in all parties signing the “Mediation of the Marudi Mountain Mining Dispute Agreement” that would guide future engagements to finalize a solution.
According to the Ministry, Trotman plans to have a consultation with the relevant stakeholders including, representatives of the South Rupununi indigenous communities, during the second week of February 2018 to receive further feedback with a view to guiding the process forward.