GDDMA opens symposium to explore reduced use of mercury

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) today opened a mining symposium to focus on the use of alternative technologies and techniques for better recovery and the reduction in the use of mercury in Guyana. President of the GGDMA, Andron Alphonso said that this is in keeping with the Association’s goals for 2020, which is to thoroughly and transparently explore all options available to miners to reduce the use of mercury in mining operations and to place miners on the path of reduced mercury use.

The main aim of the symposium today was to help miners gain knowledge on how some of the available technologies work and to explore how they can help streamline operations and improve the efficiency of mining.

He noted that many critics have accused the GGDMA of purposely resisting the reduction of mercury and explained that this is not true, rather the Association prefers to have solid, proven advice on what works and not be sold equipment by people who only have an sales agenda. The current technology, which has been used by miners for the last 50 years, must be allowed to evolve and has to be considered when implementing new methods and equipment.

The purpose of the symposium today was to demonstrate to miners what can work in Guyana and what can be practical and beneficial. The GGDMA has partnered up with Conservation International and The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to explore all options available to miners and the GGDMA welcomes the strengthened collaboration. Alphonso urged miners to appreciate that this is just the beginning and miners must recognise that the world has changed and miners have to change with it, and need to transition to use less mercury if they expect to sell gold easily on the global market.

The President of the GGDMA also took the opportunity to remind miners to vote for the political party that supports mining. He said Miners, by now should have been exposed to the plans of the various parties and miners should use this information to make an informed decision to vote for the party that will support and sustain the mining industry. He said that the Guyanese public is looking forward to a peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections and urged all political players to ensure that they deliver on this.

The one-day mining symposium was held at Park Rayne and was attended by officials of the GGDMA, members of The Guyana Women Miners Organization, the Guyana Mining Syndicate, local and overseas based manufacturers, fabricators and equipment suppliers, Conservation International, GGMC, and Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman. This symposium was a collaboration of CI, GGMC, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the GGDMA.