Govt building capacity to regulate underground mining

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While admitting that the country is not where it needs to be in order to properly regulate underground mining, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat says steps are being taken to ensure the necessary capacity is built.

He gave the assurance during the opening of a course organised by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

“For the first time, Guyana will be venturing into underground mining, it had to happen at some point in time. Are we ready? Well, we’re getting ready. I don’t think we’re ready as yet, but we’re getting ready, and today again is a step in that direction to ensure that our regulatory agency, GGMC is readying themselves to approve, to monitor underground mining, to ensure that there’s proper safety practices, to ensure that blasting is done in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner,” Minister Bharrat noted.

“Mining, I must say, is here to stay but there will be changes, and changes that we will have to adopt to as we move forward. Because we have already since the effects of climate change, only recently in Guyana and around the world, and we as move forward more and more, climate change will be in focus, more and more. The natural resources sector will be in focus and we’ll be asked to change old methods into new ones, we’ll be asked to do things differently, we’ll will be asked to be more responsible and that we will,” he added.

The training event is being held at the Regency Hotel and was organised in collaboration with ORICA Mining Services.

Meanwhile, GGMC Commissioner (ag) Newell Dennison urged his staff to pay keen attention to the course.

So far, exploratory underground mining has started at Aurora Gold Mines in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

Underground mining is also planned by Troy Resources, which had said earlier in the year that it was planning to start in the last quarter of 2021.