GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 6, 2019 (CMC) – Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, has assured the country that the government has no plans to replace, nor neglect, the mining sector.
Trotman — who was speaking at the opening of a two-day National Inception Workshop and Training on the Development of a National Action Plan for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining — stated that for many years gone by, Guyana’s Artisanal Small and Medium-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector had aided in the country’s development in a significant way, and continues to do so.
“Thus indicating that the government has no intention of replacing mining in Guyana,” he said. “In Guyana, the Artisanal Small and Medium-Scale Gold Mining sector is significant to the national economy. The ASGM sector accounted for 6.1 percent of Guyana’s GDP last year,” Trotman revealed.
According to the Natural Resources Minister, in 2019, the government also generated 33 percent of the country’s foreign exchange, earned from gold production. It was also the main source of employment and revenue for hinterland communities, including Indigenous ones.
Trotman added that as his ministry promotes responsible mining initiative and the country’s green living strategy, it has adhered to the August 2019 deadline of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the management of the importation of mercury into Guyana; now further steps must be taken to curb and eventually stop the use of Mercury in Guyana.
This he says must be done with as little effect as possible to mining operations.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international treaty, designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
Following Tuesday’s workshop, which outlined the National Action Plan to stakeholders, the team will travel across the country educating Guyanese, miners and Indigenous communities on the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and on Guyana’s own plan to stop the use of Mercury.