Minister of Natural Resources and Joint Team engages residents, miners from Region 9 Reinforces government’s commitment to support miners and stresses the need for order in the Mining Sector.


On Saturday November 5, residents and miners from Lethem and surrounding areas gathered at the Arapaima Primary School in Lethem, Region 9, to meet with Minister of Natural Resources, Honourable Raphael Trotman and a joint team of representatives  from the Ministry of Indigeneous Peoples Affairs, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission(GGMC)  the Guyana Gold Board (GGB), the Closed Area Committee  (CAC) which oversees the distribution of lands to miners, the Guyana Women Miners Association(GWMO and Romanex Mining Company.  The visit was conducted to fulfill a promise made by Minister Trotman to convene a meeting to address concerns related to mining during his last visit to the Region in September, 2016.Lethem community meeting

The meeting attracted a large gathering that was first updated about the progress of operations by the Romanex Mining Company and the work of the Closed Area Committee (CAC) including its efforts to distribute lands small miners. It was disclosed by the CAC that to date, 58 percent of the 41 applications for land which were received from miners in Lethem have been approved. Interested persons also received application forms from CAC members present and were encouraged to apply for land as individuals or groups.

Following the updates, those present where given the opportunity to share their concerns with Minister Trotman and the team. Among the concerns raised were Romanex’s plans to integrate small miners into its operations and the need for a level playing field for all parties involved. Miners and residents also asked about support for shopkeepers who may be displaced as well as access to credible facilities to sell their gold.

In response to the concerns raised, Minister Trotman reinforced that the Government does not intend to displace miners but is interested in working with them. However, he cautioned that operations must be conducted in an orderly manner with consideration for protection of the environment and surrounding communities.

He also reminded the gathering of the importance of Lethem to the development of Guyana and highlighted some of the plans that will be implemented to stimulate activity within the region.  These include plans for development of roads and regularizing of quarrying for sand and construction. A commitment was made to work with the Guyana Gold Board to initiate a mobile unit to facilitate the purchase of gold in the region and work with the GGMC to have a landing gazetted for shopkeepers. Romanex Mining Company also agreed to assist with clearing the designated area once it is approved by the GGMC.

Before leaving Lethem, Minister Trotman visited 2 sites to be considered for adoption as a “Lethem Green Space” by the Ministry of Natural Resources, as a part of its commitment to support communities in promoting a “green economy”.  The Ministry will help to develop an area in Lethem that can boost current efforts to improve the new town, enhance the environment and add to the peace and comfort of residents.

The Ministry of Natural Resources expresses its appreciation for the support of the Regional and Municipal Authorities in Lethem as well as the residents, miners and representatives from organizations and the Amerindian community of Aishalton who attended the meeting.

The Ministry remains willing to engage and ready to work with all stakeholders to find solutions that will improve operations in the mining sector.


Sunday November 6, 2016


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