(www.inewsguyana.com) The four Brazilians who died on Thursday last when a mining pit collapsed were working illegally in Guyana.
In fact, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) ordered them to leave the country, some three weeks ago.
This is according to Commissioner of the GGMC, Rickford Vieira, who at a press conference on Monday September 30 stated that the Commission only received word of the incident on Friday last.
A team is currently in the Arau backdam, Eteringbang conducting investigations.
“Those persons came through Venezuela, checked in at Eteringbang… they were not in possession of any valid work permit and the permission to mine was given by the village council,” Vieira told the news conference.
Meanwhile, Minister for Natural Resources Robert Persaud told reporters that the Ministry is concerned about Amerindians granting permission to numerous persons to conduct mining activities without proper documentation.
At present, the GGMC has no authority to dictate to the Amerindian Village on who gets permission to mine on their private lands.
“We are always hopeful that Village Councils when granting permission would ensure that persons operate in a safe environment and do not undertake mining activities or use technology that would jeopardize life, limb or property,” Minister Persaud said.
Based on the findings of the investigations, the dredge owner could face charges for employing illegal workers.