A number of miners on Saturday, participated in an auction hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) for medium- scale mining properties.
Approximately 65 mining blocks within the North West, Cuyuni, Mazaruni and Potaro Mining Districts were auctioned at an event held at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC), Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara. Bids started at $300,000 per mining block.
Speaking at the opening of the activity, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP, said the event is a fulfillment of a promise made by the PPP/C government to make more mining lands available.
The activity also adds to the many initiatives being implemented to encourage mining at all scales- small, medium and large, Minister Bharrat added.
“We would have promised that we will continue to work in the mining sector, that we will continue to provide incentives in the mining sector and most importantly, the big cry is for mining properties and we said that we will make that available as much as possible.”
As part of a collaborative effort to develop the sector, the GGMC and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) procured an equipment that will help to minimise carbon emission and reduce the use of mercury in mining.
Minister Bharrat explained that not only is that equipment mercury free, but it will also increase mining recovery rate by over 100 percent.
“Over the years ahead, we will see different methods being introduced in the mining sector. We will see different approaches…as miners, we have always been resilient and we will adapt to the changes,” he told the participants.
This was the first auction held in four years. GGMC Commissioner, Newell Dennison, said the auctions are as a result of years of work by GGMC to make lands available to promote the development of mining in Guyana.
He said the intention is to give recognition and to create an avenue for the different miners to have access to lands to do more exploration and ultimately convert some of the properties to productive endeavours.
This, Dennison added, will see an expansion of revenues, not only to GGMC, but to the state as well.
Meanwhile, in an effort to make more mining properties available to small miners, the GGMC also held mining lotteries within the four mining districts. That activity saw 202 small miners gaining access to mining properties for the first time.