Muri Brasil speaks out! Slams KN, SN over articles on New River Triangle

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – The company authorized to conduct Permission for Geographical and Geophysical Survey (PGGS) in the New River Triangle has finally broken its silence on the issue and has slammed two local dailies – Kaieteur News (KN) and Stabroek News for peddling alleged misinformation on the issue.

According to the Company, Muri Brasil Ventures Inc is registered in Guyana under the Companies Act whose shareholders and directors are Guyanese citizens and have substantial experience in the mining industry.

The Company explained that exploration activities have not commenced because permission is being awaited for the construction of a small airstrip to facilitate the airborne aspect of the survey, however, other research activities have taken place.

“It is normal for a PGGS to contain a clause granting the permission to the holder the right to apply for a number of prospecting licences. This is not the only Permission which has been granted or which so provides. The reason is simple and not sinister. These kinds of exploration activities cost millions of US dollars which can only be sourced as exploration investments from outside of Guyana. No such investments would be available if the investor is given no assurance that he will be granted prospecting licences,” Muri Brasil explained in its statement.

It further noted, “The investor takes a risk. If he/she is not assured of a potential return, investment capital will dry up and so will Guyana’s mining industry. Constant exploration activities are necessary to drive the mining industry. For a prospecting licence to be granted, a work programme and financial and technical capabilities have to be proved. These are onerous conditions. And a prospecting licence does not necessarily lead to a mining licence because mineral in commercial quantities may not be available.”

The Two Million Acres

According to the Company, this area is for exploration and not occupation or prospecting.

“Also the PGGS provides that the area is reduced by one quarter at the end of every year for its life of three years so that at the end of the three years only 25 percent of the original area remains. The area for a prospecting licence is an average of 12,000 acres so that 18 prospecting licences will extend over about 216,000 acres. And from prospecting licence to mining licence takes several years and to obtain a mining licence involves stringent conditions including environmental impact assessment studies.”

Response to Stabroek News

“In a report in the Stabroek News on December 16 it referred to a statement by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, in which he indicated Government’s intention to grant mining licences and permits in the area of south east Berbice. The Government has been committed to promoting these activities so the PGGS cannot be characterized as a whim or secret deal by the Minister when clearly the Cabinet and Government are behind the PGGS.”

Attacks on Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud

When the issue was first revealed, the Natural Resources Minister was accused of lying to the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources that no mining was ongoing in the area.

It was subsequently revealed that the Minister did not lie and was responding to a direct question. In this regard, the Company noted, “The attacks on Minister Persaud have gone through various phases. The first was the accusation that he lied. This did not stick so he was then accused of withholding the facts. That also proved to be unfounded so that the Stabroek News’s editorial of December 16 accuses him of secrecy, a crime which he allegedly shares with the Government. These accusations are unfair and do not stand up to scrutiny.”

Muri Brasil said it hopes that the controversy is not allowed to adversely affect the PGGS granted to the Company. The Company stated that it is apolitical, and has no agenda whatsoever except to invest in Guyana.

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