[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Director of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and Ex Executive Member of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) Edward Shields has expressed his concern with two daily newspapers and its attack on the Permission of Geological and Geophysical Survey (PGSS) in the New River Triangle south of Guyana by Guyanese company Muri Brasil Ventures Inc.
“I am puzzled as to the motive behind all the negative light in which this potentially large scale investment is being cast. This is a survey which holds great promise for Guyana, yet the motives of many of the objectors such as the Guyana Human Rights Association, A Partnership for National Unity’s Joseph Harmon and several political pundits remain, at the best, unknown, Shields said in a letter.
According to Shields, he noticed that this matter only came to the fore when there was a discussion about an illegal road being built by a Brazilian in the Parabara area. He made it clear that the builders of that road and Muri Brasil Ventures Inc. are not connected, nor is Muri involved in any road building.
“So far all of the articles seem to hint and make the assumption that there is some level of corruption involved. However, to date, I have not heard anyone stating that the agreement signed between the Minister and the company is illegal. In my humble opinion, once it is a legal agreement it must be honoured. It is time that the Government state this fact regardless of the reasons given by some persons who feel, that this legal agreement, is not in the best interest of Guyana.”
Shield explained that this is not the first time the area in question is being studied vis-à-vis research activities to determine the type of minerals.
Several decades ago studies were done by:
1. The United Nations Revolving Fund Programme whose findings are a matter of public record,
2. Studies were also done in the late 70’s by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) headed by Geologist Chris Barron ,
3. Under the stewardship of Commissioner William Woolford further studies were done by Mr. Nestor, GGMC, these findings should also be public knowledge.
4. Studies have been done by a Guyana / Brazil team over the Mursi area, I am not aware if these findings have been made available to the public.
“The above is proof, that studies for minerals in this area were conducted by Government over its territory. The only difference today, is that the studies are being carried out by a private firm. So why all the fuss about this study?
There are many statements being placed for public consumption that are at best most misleading.”
According to Shields, the first bit of misinformation is that of the map purporting to show mining on the borders. He explained that any preliminary investigation would show that there is a definitive area on all Guyana’s borders in which mining can and cannot be conducted.
“The second bit of information which states that this agreement is a ‘sell-out’ and that 2.2 million acres ( approximately 4% of Guyana) has been granted to this company is ingenious in its ambiguity and designed to arouse the patriotism of Guyanese citizens. The fact however remains that the major beneficiary of this research, which would involve a foreign investment of 10’s of millions of US dollars, is Guyana. PGSS agreements have been implemented simply because the GGMC does not have the technical or financial resources to do this type of research.”
Shields also chided the GGMC for not responding to the matter and the Private Sector Commission for remaining silent.
“The Private Sector Commission, whose current chairman was the Chairman of GGMC, has remained largely silent on this issue which threatens to drive away, not only this, but future foreign investment into Guyana.”