Phasing out of Mercury will not have severe impact on small miners – Persaud

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 Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud. [iNews' Photo]
Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud is reassuring small miners that the phasing out and eventual elimination of mercury in the mining process will have no severe impact on their operations.

Only last week Guyana became signatory to the Minamata Convention which looks at ways to reduce the use and trade of mercury in countries around the world.

“This is not an immediate ban, it is not an immediate prohibition but rather what the convention requires us to do is to develop a national action plan to reduce its use and ensure its safe handling and eventual phasing out it within the sector” Persaud told reporters on Tuesday October 15.

The Environment Minister explained that as part of the convention also there will be no new mercury mining, however countries that are already engaged will be given 20 years to stop producing/using mercury.

“Over time it will perhaps first be scarce and then not be available globally. We don’t foresee this having any impact on the mining sector; in fact it will lead to what I consider as positive benefits.”

Persaud assured that mercury free mining will have positive impacts economically and environmentally. The Natural Resources Minister also noted Government’s intention to ensure the country’s responsibility under the convention is taken seriously and stays committed to the phasing out process.

Persaud pointed to the codes and regulations that are currently in place to ensure proper handling and safe disposal of mercury which can have serious health consequences and impact on the environment.

The Minister also expressed appreciation for the support the government has received in this undertaking.

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