Faced with a number of recent tragedies in the mining community, President David Granger has ordered a full inquiry into the collapse of mining pits and the safety of many of the gold mining operations in the country.
In a statement last evening, the Ministry of the Presidency said that the issue of safety in the mining sector is one that the administration takes very seriously and therefore it wants to ensure there is maximum safety and better monitoring.
The inquiry is to be conducted by a multi-stakeholder Committee, which will work independent of the Guyana Geology and mines Commission but is authorized to request any relevant information from any employee through the Commissioner of GGMC in order to carry out its functions.
The Ministry of the Presidency expressed concern over moves to the court by some mining companies to block the GGMC from inspecting their operations for safety.
“More importantly, reports also indicate that regulatory agencies (namely the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission) are restrained by the “Orders of the Court” from executing their mandate that in many instances may have prevented injury and the loss of life”, the release stated.
The Ministry of the Presidency added that “our Human Capital is of pivotal importance to the sector and the country as a whole and cannot be lost to what may appear to be avoidable situations. In this regard, Hon. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Governance, directed by His Excellency President David Arthur Granger, has launched an inquiry into the collapse of mining pits that have resulted in the injury or death of miners.”
The three-member Committee will comprise individuals knowledgeable and competent in their respective fields and will include the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association.
It is expected that by July 31, 2015, a Report detailing the Committee’s findings along with recommendations for immediate and long-term actions will be submitted to the Minister of Governance for implementation.
One month ago, 10 miners lost their lives when the pit they were working in collapsed and buried them alive, last week another gold miner lost his life the same way and just this past weekend there were reports of yet another mining pit caving in that claimed the life of another miner.
Investigaions into those incidents are still underway.