Team of Experts appointed to review Gold Board’s Laboratory Operations

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As a result of recent incidents of elevated mercury emissions within the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s compound and its environs, and the potential risk posed to workers and residents, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, today appointed a Committee to review the functions of the Guyana Gold Board’s laboratory.

According to a statement from the Ministry, the team is mandated to examine all aspects of the functionality of the laboratory, and “to make recommendations for its efficient, secure, and environmentally safe operations including, its relocation.”

The appointment follows a public commitment made by the Minister to have experts review the operations of the Gold Board’s laboratory to ascertain whether it is functioning in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, and if not, to have recommendations made for its improved service.

The Committee has also been mandated to examine suitable and secure sites for the relocation of the laboratory and to make recommendations accordingly, the statement added.

The Committee will be headed by Dr. David Singh, who holds a doctorate in Chemistry and is currently the Executive Director of Conservation International – Guyana, and includes, Keith John, retired  Assistant Commissioner of Police, and one member each, from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Gold Board.

The Experts will commence work on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, and a report will be submitted within one month.

Concerns about mercury poisoning skyrocketed after reports that several staffers were infected. This caused employees of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) which is located in the same compound of the GGB to make strong demands for the lab to be removed.

All Gold Board employees who were exposed to mercury along with 130 GGMC staff were tested. It was disclosed that 60 persons from the GGMC were found with “above normal” levels of mercury.

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