Miners in the area of Baramita, Region One have come in for praise from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) for improving their practices.
Senior Environmental Officer of the GGMC, Darcy Walrond, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) recently, “We’ve seen a great improvement in the way things are done, in the way mining is being practiced in this community and around this area.”
Examining a mining site in the Baramita area
Walrond said that the GGMC has been improving its monitoring and training of miners to ensure compliance with mining regulations. “We work a lot closer now (with the EPA and other stakeholders) to ensure mining is done in a safe manner, ensuring that all persons follow the laws of the Mining Act and environmental, occupational health and safety and all of that,” Walrond said
The increased push for compliance is aimed at reducing mining related deaths. At the end of 2016, seven deaths were recorded.
Since then, the Ministry of Natural Resources has been strengthening the capacity of GGMC staff in pit engineering and specialised training in Occupational, Health and Safety specific to mining operations.
The GGMC has developed a ground control document that serves as a guideline for mining operations. It provides information on how to construct a proper camp, ground assessment, equipment use and maintenance, personal protective equipment and other safety practices miners need to adhere to.
Despite these efforts, one mining death has been recorded for 2017. Initial investigations have revealed that the miner was a Brazilian who was operating without GGMC’s permission in Micobie, Region Eight.
The incident has seen a recommitment from the Ministry of Natural Resources to work with stakeholders to ensure safety in the industry and better compliance to existing regulations.