Gov’t launches inquiry into collapse of mining pits

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Mining in Guyana

The mining pit where a recent accident occurred. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
The mining pit where a recent accident occurred. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Following the number of reports relating to the caving in of several mining pits in Guyana’s interior locations, the David Granger administration has decided to launch an inquiry into the issue, which has resulted in the injuries and deaths of many.

A press statement from the Ministry of Presidency on June 22, noted that Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman was instructed to launch the inquiry by President Granger.

According to the statement, the inquiry will be conducted by a multi-stakeholder Committee, who will work independent of the Commission but is authorised to request any relevant information from any employee through the Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) in order to carry out its functions.

It was noted that the three-member Committee will comprise individuals knowledgeable and competent in their respective fields and will include the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association.

The statement explained that by July 31, 2015, a report detailing the Committee’s findings along with recommendations for immediate and long-term actions will be submitted to the Minister of Governance for implementation.

The body of one of the miners being pulled from the pit during a recent accident [GGDMA Photo]
The body of one of the miners being pulled from the pit during a recent accident [GGDMA Photo]
“The issue of safety in the mining sector is one of paramount importance to this administration. In recent times, a number of reports have reached the Ministry of the Presidency and the general public about the collapse of pits and other incidents resulting in the injury and some cases, deaths of miners. More importantly, reports also indicate that regulatory agencies (namely the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission) are restrained by the “Orders of the Court” from executing their mandate that in many instances may have prevented injury and the loss of life,” the statement noted.

It further explained, “Our Human Capital is of pivotal importance to the sector and the country as a whole and cannot be lost to what may appear to be avoidable situations.”

A miner, Orlando Archer, died on Thursday, June 18 following a mining accident at Jumbie Creek, Pataro.

According to a police report, a mining pit caved in at approximately 11:20 hrs, trapping the young man. Archer, of Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, was pulled from underneath the rubble but was pronounced dead on arrival at the Mahdia Hospital.

On May 17, another mining pit cave in claimed the lives of ten miners and left others injured in Mowasi Backdam, Potaro.

 

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