Miners reassured of Gov’t support

-Awards ceremony kickstarts Mining Week

Miners are being reassured that Government will continue to invest in the development of the mining industry,  given its significant contribution to economic growth.

Permanent Secretary to the Natural Resources Ministry Joslyn McKenzie

The assurance was given by Permanent Secretary of the Natural Resources Ministry, Joslyn McKenzie on Sunday.

He was addressing the Awards and Cocktail Ceremony which kickstarts Mining Week, which is being held under the theme ‘Emerging from Adversity, Transitioning to Sustainability’.

“We will continue to work with the agencies both governmental and non-governmental… to address all the issues that needs to be addressed. We can guarantee you that the solutions will not necessarily be the ones that everyone would want at the same time but it is a work in progress”, he said.

President of the GGDMA Andron Alphonso

McKenzie disclosed that on Monday, the ministry will be meeting with members of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) as part of the consultative process in preparation for budget 2023.

He said the meeting will allow the agencies to make recommendations on some of the provisions they would like to be included in the upcoming budget.

Permanent Secretary to the Natural Resources Ministry Joslyn McKenzie, GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison, Chairman of GGMC’s Board Jimmy Reece, along with some of the awardees

As it relates to safety, the Permanent Secretary reiterated that miners will receive the full support of Government.

“One life is indeed too many and we will be working with the Ministry of Labour to see how we can actually move the implementation of the mine safety and also some subsidiary regulations that will allow miners to operate in a safer environment,” he stated.

Meanwhile, President of the GGDMA Andron Alphonso said the mining sector has been receiving tremendous support over the past two years. He said there was a lack of governmental support before the PPP/C Administration took office.

“Our Government, our partners in development are now willing listeners to the adversity facing miners and offering support with concrete solutions as well as legislative changes that has allowed us to begin transitioning to sustainability,” the GGDMA President said.

Alphonso commended the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the ministry for funding 75 per cent of the associated cost for the acquisition of the river and mineral recovery system, which should be in Guyana later this year. He said the equipment paves the way for mercury free mining and enhanced recovery for small and medium scale miners.

He also lauded the Government for the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on ATVs and machinery and equipment for mining, the removal of excise tax on fuel, reduction of the sliding scale final tax to 2.5 per cent and the removal of the 10 per cent Tributors Tax.

At the awards ceremony, recognition was given to the top gold producers, top declarants, top diamond producers and the top sand and stone producers.

Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat on Monday will be delivering the feature address to open a two-day conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre which forms part of the activities planned for mining week.

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