August 29, 2014

Gold target surpassed by 21 per cent – Livan

By Lakhram Bhagirat

Amid challenges, the mining sector continues to shine with a record-breaking production of 251,000 ounces of gold from January to July of 2012, acting commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Karen Livan revealed.

An employee from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission demonstrates how to test the muddiness of water

Acting GGMC Commissioner Karen Livan

 

“This is 21 per cent above the budget… and the main accomplishment for 2011/ 2012 is the record-breaking gold production of 363,000 ounces by small- and medium-scale producers for the seventh consecutive year from 2005…,” Livan said.
She explained that in 2005, the production from small- and medium-scale miners was 163,000 ounces, which means that over the past six years, production has increased by over 200,000 ounces.
She made the remarks while addressing a gathering at the annual Porkknockers’ Day celebrations at Bartica on Saturday.
The commissioner told the gathering that the small and medium gold and diamond mining sector is important because of its large geographic spread, production, and the number of operations in existence.
She added that along with mineral recovery, there must also be better environmental and occupational health and safety management practices.
“As the sector increases, miners produce more, and this generates more tailing waste; they create a larger environmental footprint and if this footprint is not mitigated to reduce the negative environmental impact to acceptable levels, it is very likely there will be conflict with other stakeholders, so the sector has to be very mindful of the environmental performance of the mining sector,” she noted.
Livan pledged the GGMC’s continued support to the miners in the form of guidance, technical assistance and demonstration of new technologies for reclamation practices. She noted that the mining industry is a success story, but challenged the miners to continue to work to expand the sector.
Livan noted the ban on the national trade in mercury that is planned for 2013 will have adverse effects on the mining sector, but assured the miners that there will be more methods introduced to ensure more recovery of the mineral. “Our history has shown that miners and mining have changed and adapted over the years, and for example, with the use of sluice boxes over the years, we have now added matting and ripples for better,” she said.
In outlining the strengths of the sector, Livan said that the major strengths of the industry are the strong economic performance and the high prices for gold worldwide. She also recognised the Women Miners Organisation as one of the industry’s strengths, and noted that it has been bringing dormant issues to the forefront since its establishment.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud, in declaring Porkknockers’ Day open, said that the occasion seeks to recognise the legends and pioneers of the mining industry.
He said that the porkknockers are the ones who formed the gold mining industry and that was done through their hard work and determination. “We want the current generation of miners not to lose sight of the hard work that was put into the sector, the lives that were lost, the sufferings; many homes were broken up and all sorts of issues that sometimes we do not recognise to make this industry as it is,” he said.
“There’s also a very serious side to these celebration and that is to pay tribute to the founders of this industry. Our government will never lose sight of that, we will never lose sight of the pioneers. Whatever policy and whatever measures we take will ensure that their hard work and ensure the efforts that they put into this industry are nurtured and expanded,” he added.