“Heavy rains, poor safety procedures” caused mining tragedy – GGDMA


The scene of the mining accident. [GGDMA Photo]
The scene of the mining accident. [GGDMA Photo]
[www.inewsguyan.com] – The Guyana gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has released its preliminary report into Sunday’s tragic mining pit cave in which left ten miners dead at Kowasi Backdam on the Potaro river.

Thus far, the bodies of six of the miners have been recovered while another 4 remain buried under the rubble. Seven of the miners received varying degrees of injuries and were hospitalised.

In a statement to the media, the mining representative Body explained that after its preliminary investigation, it has “concluded that the heavy rains in the area, improper mining design and poor safety practices were among the causes for the accident.”

GGDMA noted too that it is concerned about the current injunction on the holder of the property Edward Hopkinson and on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.

The mining pit where the accident occurred. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
Recovery efforts underway to retrieve the trapped miners. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
“As a consequence the injunction may have contributed to inadequate monitoring of the affected mining operations,” GGDMA stated.

“The GGDMA however advises all miners that they work in accordance with the Mining Act and Regulations. The GGDMA advises all miners to take extra precautions during the rainy season. The GGDMA reminds miners that it has on staff a mining engineer and qualified environmental officers who can offer technical assistance to miners,” the release also stated.

Natural Resources Minister designate, Dr Rupert Roopnarine and other officials at the accident scene. [GGDMA Photo]
Natural Resources Minister designate, Dr Rupert Roopnarine and other officials at the accident scene. [GGDMA Photo]
The Association stated that it is eagerly awaiting reports from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the GGMC and the Ministry of Labour on the incident before filing a final report.



  1. This observation is totally unacceptable. In an environment where there are Laws, and in this instance the Occupational Safety and Health Act 32 of 1997 and the Mining Regulations which is still in its consultative process, the responsibility should be on the regulatory authorities to effectively inspect and implement safeguards for potential hazard within this workplace. This point to a lack of enforcement and or non inspection by both the Ministry of Labour and the GGMC.
    A enquiry should be held into this accident which is one of the worst disasters in our mining history. coming mere days after we observed Occupational Safety and Health month. Coincidentally, the theme for the months activities was ” Join in building a culture of prevention on Occupational Safety and Health . Sadly we have not made any attempt to adhere to this pleas.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.