One of the main challenges in the mining sector is changing ‘old habits’ and bringing a ‘sense of order’ to the natural resources sector in Guyana. This is according to Junior Natural Resources Minister, Simona Broomes who during her speech at the 2016 budget debates stated that as such there needs to be a turn-around of the ‘tides of smuggling’ which is deemed a priority by her Government.
“As a nation, we appear unable to benefit directly for more than half of the gold (we produce)…we have to set face against corruption and corrupt practices, continue to train people so that the performance sector can be advanced, training alone cannot bring about the transformation we seek…we have to and will find new and workable ways to fend off corruption,” she declared.
Minister Broomes explained that at present there are many companies and operators in the mining sector whose only concern is in making and securing profits and this too must be rectified.
She promised that her Administration will embark on ensuring that all miners inclusive of small miners are treated fairly.
“Another change we intend to make in the sector is to ensure that all players are treated fairly, small miners for far too long have been working in a discriminatory environment. We are creating an enabling environment in which the sector can continue to grow and prosper,” the Minister said.
She pointed out that gold has a ‘shining future’ in Guyana and that her ministry will move to invest greatly in educating miners, with the priority of this education campaign being that of safety for all involved.
“We have to find a way to put an end to tragedies which cause an end and a blight of life in the mining sector…this Government is only months-old, but we have done a lot in the mining sector…the intention of this Administration is to ensure that the mining sector works for the development of Guyana on a whole,” she said.
According to Broomes, her ministry is also in the process of implementing a compliance division tasked with ensuring that all agencies under the Natural Resources Ministry are compliant with rules and regulations.