Several hinterland communities will receive support from the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs to establish and develop semi-precious stones. These will be used to produce jewellery, coffee table tops, clocks and other items, according to GINA.
It is believed that in Region Eight alone, there is an estimated 15 million tonnes of jasper, while in other areas in the region there are agate, black pearl, green quartz and amethyst.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe said that a proposal for the project is being crafted, following which the Ministry will then engage agencies for funding.
The Minister said that the residents are happy about this new project, as it will be used as a means of generating income in their respective communities. Already, she pointed out that one of the Toshaos in Region Eight has indicated that he will be using the community’s 50th Independence Anniversary Grant to launch the project in his village.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), in collaboration with the Ministry will be facilitating training for jewellers within communities in Region Eight.
Additionally, GGMC has embarked on mapping and qualification of semi-precious stones in an effort to promote the development of a lapidary.
Semi-precious stones including topaz, garnet, milky white quartz, banded agates, fire agates and tourmaline can be found in Aishalton in Region Nine. In Region One, there are black pearls, amber and soap stones.