[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar has extended commendation to the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) for establishing a new world record in gold production, but advised that the association pays more heed to its patriotic duty of developing the human capital in the country.
He was at the time speaking at the GGDMA annual Christmas dinner and dance on Wednesday evening (December 18) at the Pegasus Hotel which was also attended by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud.
“Congratulations for a job well-done,” President Ramotar told the gathering, referring to the fact that gold production, today, stood at 461,000 ounces, the highest production ever, surpassing a previous high level of 455, 918 ounces, recorded in 2001; which included the declarations of both Omai and small scale operators.
The President expressed the belief that increased use of new technology is the cause for the augmented production.
“The industry itself has a great future,” the President said, but one that must be done with the realisation of the environmental aspect of the activity.
“The question of preserving our environment, preserving what we have, we also see that it has great benefit for our people, economical but, more over it provides a service for the whole world as far as fighting climate change is concerned. We all know that climate change is upon us, and if we can make a contribution to slow it down and to reverse it, that is very important to us.”
Meanwhile, Minister Persaud told the gathering that the 2013 production in face of challenges experienced this year, speaks to the ‘resilience and commitment’ of the small and medium scale miners.
The Minister said that he is worried when some seek to demonise the success in the industry, noting that, “there is absolutely nothing wrong in pointing out the challenges, and there are many challenges, and there are many issues in the mining industry that we will have to confront, because all is not well, but that is not to say that we must discount the success and the progress and misrepresent what is taking place in the industry.”
He noted that about this time last year, he was living with a no-confidence vote in the mining sector, and this time around a newspaper has expressed a no-confidence vote in him for being ‘too pro-mining.”
“I am just focusing on what needs to be done and what has to be done to take our country forward,” he said, and this translates into Guyana being an environmental model for sustainable mining. He therefore challenged the miners to aspire for this model.