GGMC mulls increase of land reclamation fee

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The Guyana Geology and Mines and Commission (GGMC) wants to increase the bond which miners are required to pay to reclaim mined-out lands.

The agency on Tuesday embarked on an aggressive campaign to promote land reclamation in an effort to ensure that mined-out lands can be used for other purposes.

Miners are required by law to reclaim lands which have been mined out. This is done by refilling the mining pits, planting trees and reopening waterways which would have been blocked to make the land usable again.

However, the miners are failing to comply with the law, leaving the bulk of the work for the GGMC.

Commissioner of the GGMC Newell Dennison explained that the miners are required to lodge $100,000 which is used by the GGMC to rectify the mined-out land if the miners themselves fail to do so.

Commissioner of the GGMC Newell Dennison

But the GGMC has found that the $100,000 is insufficient and is looking to increase this figure.

“The long term value will outlast by far the short-sighted resistance to the calls for a healthier landscape. We all together need to minimize and mitigate the impacts on the environment for mining and invest in the potential after mining value chain,” the Commissioner said during his address to stakeholders at the Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown, Georgetown.

He was speaking at the first in a series of stakeholder engagements on land reclamation.

A section of the gathering at the workshop

Mr Dennison pointed out that the state-owned agency has spent approximately $100M over the past three years to reclaim lands used for mining.

Carlos Todd, who has responsibility for the Environmental Division of the GGMC, disclosed that a large sum of money was expended on six different sites, two of which were used for Bauxite mining and the remainder for gold mining.

“We know that the bond is not enough at the moment and there are studies being done to come up with a suitable figure of what should be lodged as the reclamation bond,” he noted.

The agency’s land reclamation programme is being undertaken in accordance with the Government’s Green State Development Strategy.

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