By Kurt Campbell
According to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud, the sector has become the envy of other forces in society and called on all operators therein to remain alert.
He was at the time making reference to the pull out of Muri Brazil Ventures Inc. from continuing its survey under the Permission for Geographical and Geophysical Survey (PGGS) granted by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The Natural Resources Minister said the pull out was as a result of sheer political mischief and calculation which led to the frustration of the investor.
The company itself said when it made the announcement that “although the process was legal and transparent, this decision is due to the misinformation, prejudice and hostility to this proposed survey by persons and agencies which are fostering an adverse investment climate In Guyana.”
Minister Persaud also lashed out at the Executives of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) in whose presence he was speaking, for being too “diplomatic and too reticent in speaking directly to the issues that threatens the existence of the sector.”
“This may not be the only one, the question is who or what is next… this is what I want the sector to bear in mind,” Persaud said, adding that “I’m not being an alarmist, I’m being a realist.”
On Monday, January 6 Opposition Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon credited the Media, the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and the Political Opposition for causing Muri Brazil to scrap the deal, boasting that “as I see it, the action of the company was based on exposure of the quality of the transaction between itself and Ministry of Natural Resources.”
Minister Persaud has expressed the fear that such ‘attacks’, as he called it, could scare away other investors. He believes the attitude meted out to Muri Brazil does not inspire confidence. This sentiment was also expressed by President of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Ronald Webster.
Persaud told the gathering of over 200 miners not to lose sight of the bigger issues that can undermine production and the contribution of mining to the economy.
He believes the mining sector has now come under attack as part of a wider agenda to sabotage economic development because of its resilience.
He noted the importance of companies like Muri Brazil carrying out PGGS, stating that it is hard to tell where the country’s minerals are and as such the dependence is on ongoing PGGS.