Steps being taken to reduce mining deaths, accidents

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The mining pit where a recent accident occurred. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
The mining pit where a recent accident occurred. [Photo compliments of the GGDMA]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A technical team from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) on Thursday, September 17 met with the Minister of Governance, with responsibility for Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman, to chart a course of action to reduce mining accidents and mining related deaths.

According to the Ministry of the Presidency, during the meeting, the team reviewed the Commission of Inquiry’s Report and identified several initiatives that would be implemented immediately. These include:

 

  1. Sensitisation of miners and other relevant stakeholders with respect to mining deep deposits while taking the soil type, ground water level and other geotechnical parameters into consideration.

 

  1. GGMC will conduct regular “sweeps” in all of the mining districts to ensure compliance with the established mining and safety guidelines. During this exercise, baseline information will be collected and analysed to determine the level of competence of the General Manager and other key personnel of the operations. The purpose of this exercise is to develop awareness as to the type of training programs needed to address the issues at hand. Once finalised, these programmes will be implemented in all of the mining districts.

 

  1. Development of a simple system of reporting mining accidents and mining related deaths by operators to GGMC field stations. Further, systems will be put in place for operators to report “near misses” or slumping of pit walls/faces.

 

  1. Development of a comprehensive set of guidelines to deal with the ‘stripping’ of overburden with or without excavators, clearing of trees and debris from the rim of the pit, prohibiting the undercutting of working face, avoidance of high pit faces/walls, and establishing stable slopes among other issues.

“The guidelines that are looked at can be considered sensible, practical and are enforceable and would address measures that can be taken by the operator when there is stripping of overburden and when there is exploitation of mineral resources,” Commissioner of GGMC, Rickford Vieira said.

According to the GGMC, these are only some of the measures that are currently being discussed for immediate implementation. It is expected that the technical team’s work will conclude by mid October 2015 after which a stakeholder workshop will be held to discuss the strategy and to create areas for further inputs.

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