Miners to face increased environmental bond

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[File Photo]

 

GGMC 2[www.inewsguyana.com] – The current low environmental bond for the gold mining sector bond is to be increased.

This was disclosed by Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman as he has charged the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC) Board of Directors to step up its efforts to ensure a safe and secure mining sector is achieved.

 The Minister declared that stricter measures will now have to be taken by that agency to ensure that the laws are enforced and upheld.

Addressing the Directors, Minister Trotman said that the day for “free passes” are over and it is now time that the mining sector is put on a safe and stable footing. Minister Trotman said added that GGMC must ensure that it holds accountable, the miners, who are responsible for these ‘lawless’ practices. 

“The responsibility for the environment is not solely that of the State. It is the responsibility of those who own and operate mining concessions to ensure that after they would have ceased operations they do not leave these huge abscesses on our landscape, but that the land is reclaimed by nature,” he said.

 The Minister of Governance pointed out that as it stands, the sector has attracted criticisms with the thrust of this, is the manner in which, the industry is viewed and regulated.

[File Photo]
[File Photo]
“It has to change. We must protect and preserve our national patrimony for the others to come…It has to be regulated better …we must make mining safer, have no incidences of corruption and graft and we must examine how we can ensure that the people of Guyana benefit. That is the policy of the government. The Minister, the Commission and the Commissioner must work together and cooperation and respect must be given to each other,” he emphasised. 

 Acknowledging the need for improved infrastructure and the Government’s role in providing these, Minister Trotman told the Board that it is also their responsibility to ensure that the environmental and health faucets of the sector are not neglected.

 “It is our job is to provide infrastructure. That’s a governmental function, but we need to ensure the security and safety of the sector. We need to improve health and environmental practices. They [miners] have been given a free pass for too long. We have to put them to work. An environmental bond of $100,000 is simply insufficient and we must address this,” he declared.

“You’ve got to show that you are paying your taxes; that you haven’t left lands with gaping holes and you’re practicing safe mining. At the end of the day to qualify, you’ve got to show you are mining in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” Minister Trotman outlined. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Bond! Bond? Cost of a Bond. I think the Minister needs some clarifying advice as to what a ‘bond’ is as collected by GGMC. And then maybe the Commission can EXACTLY tell the bond holding client, – that is the miner who is obliged to cough up, – what his obligation is, what he needs to do to retrieve his bond, who signs off and how that qualification is quantified. Uniformly. Level playing field. No runnings. No favors.
    Or is the ‘Bond’ non refundable; just another mechanism for the Commission to rake in more money, implemented to satisfy some overarching regulatory body (REDD?) that ensures the ‘environmental husbandry’ box is ticked, even if very foggily.
    If the sum of bond income is expended on research, development, demonstration of remediation and dissemination of best practice, then it should not be called a bond. It is a subvention. And the individual miner gets off free for digging the hole he has made to leave to his children, to move on and dig another one. His attitude will be he dun pay; de ‘govmt’ now got he money, so any hole in the ground and forest is dem problem. He ent spending no more diesel, and he men don get pay, ‘cos dat wuk not got tribute.
    Disconnect!
    While on the learning curve, what the Minister might ask the Board of the Commission – it is a Commission – is to have Management make a regular public accounting of ALL the revenue streams and the sum thereof, generated at the GGMC: All the millions of acres under rental, earning a myriad of varying annual fees; Bonds; Licenses et al. At least knowledge of this this huge sum might go some way to wooing the mining community into a better understanding of their ownership of this vital industry.
    That, and a real annual balance sheet is the beginning of transparency. People-power fueled by truth. That was the message by which this Government was elected. (Wasn’t it? My memory short). And if several billions of dollars get transferred to the consolidated fund annually, more pride for the Industry. Or more dollars for capacity building.
    Connect!
    As sure as night follows day, elections coming again sometime. Clean up or go along.

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