International community agrees to ban use of mercury in mining

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Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon
Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon

[www.inewsguyana.com]The international community is ready to agree to institute a ban on the use of mercury in the gold mining sector.

Government officials confirmed that the international community signaled its intention to establish an international agreement to ban the substance.

Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon told a news conference on Thursday October 10 at the Office of the President that under the terms and conditions of such a ban, countries like Guyana will receive financial aid for mercury alternatives, which is expensive and not easily accessible by small miners.

“It should be pointed out that alternatives in mercury in Guyana’s gold mining are not cheap, the technology is a substantial technology and is not readily accessible by the thousands of small miners. As a consequence, within the international instrument that will ultimately ban mercury in gold mining and in other uses, was the call and the expected commitment to financing to be provided to countries like Guyana where the issue of alternatives to the use of mercury essentially has dominant financial implications,” Dr. Luncheon told reporters.

He explained that between 2013 and 2022, Guyana would exercise a phasing in of restrictions against importation and the use of mercury in gold mining.

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