A group of small-scale miners in Marudi Mountains, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) are complaining that they are being barred from mining in the area by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and are faced with mistreatment from a foreign mining company.
speaking for the group a resident/miner in the Region, Robert Murray, said the situation continues to deteriorate daily as the Government remains silent on the matter.
He stated that Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had held a meeting in the village and had promised that the miners would be able to mine, however Trotman failed to attend another meeting with miners to decide the way forward: “He did not come to the meeting but sent Mr Joe Singh who put forward a document and asked the miners delegates to sign it and they refused, asking for time to consult with the rest of the miners.”
The miners are alleging that they were told that if they do not sign the document, soldiers and Police will be deployed to remove the miners from Marudi.
Several attempts were made to contact Minister Trotman on the issue but proved futile.
Meanwhile, Murray stated the miners became afraid and signed the document. Since then the GGMC has been preventing them from mining he noted.
He stated further that a large mining company in the area is also preventing small-scale miners from conducting any work in the area.
“On December 12, the GGMC came and stopped the crushers and miners from working… what will happen to them now that Marudi is closed down and at this time of the year?” he asked, noting that the company says if they choose not to work with the company then they cannot work at all.
He stated that the Minister has said again and again that mining should go on in the area but the company, along with the mine officers are stopping them from working.
He added that since Lethem has been made a town then Government should place Marudi under Lethem’s care and let the Council make the decisions for the village.
Earlier in the year, the Natural Resources Ministry brokered an agreement through mediation between the mining company and small miners over a dispute regarding mining claims. (Guyana Times)