…residents forging ahead with syndicate, to apply for mining lands
RESIDENTS of Imbaimadai, a mining community situated in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni District, are forging ahead with plans to establish a syndicate – a move which will see them accessing mining lands soon, but as a single body.
On Tuesday, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes, Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira and a team from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) met with the residents, many of whom are small miners but have been experiencing a number of challenges. It is anticipated that through the syndicate, the small miners will be
able to pool their resources together, and combat many of the challenges they currently face.
In updating residents on the progress made thus far, Wallis Daniels, who is no stranger to the community, explained that during the initial stage of forming the syndicate there were a number of unanswered questions, however, those questions have since been answered.
According to him, a committee has already been formed, and he is currently in the process of acquiring the required signatures, paving the way for the registration of the syndicate. Once registered, an application will be made to GGMC for mining lands in places such as Chi-Chi.
Daniels told Minister Broomes that to date, approximately 79 residents and small miners have signed up to be a part of the syndicate; 40 per cent of whom are Amerindians.
Wilton Tafarest, who is the “unofficial” community leader, told those present during the meeting that through the “syndicate” they will move from “strength to strength” as a united body. “Once we organize ourselves we can move mountains,” Tafarest assured his fellow men and women, noting that the syndicate when established and in operation will revive the village of Imbaimadai.
“At one time, they had 20-something shops on this landing, half of them have closed down. We use to get about 15 flights a day, (we had) one of the busiest airstrips but now you are getting one and two flights. This goes to show that the situation is very critical in Imbaimadai,” Tafarest pointed out.
Minister Broomes, in addressing the residents, said the Government is ready to deliver its people in keeping with President David Granger’s pledge to create the “good life” for all Guyanese.
Pointing to a geological map, Minister Broomes highlighted a number of areas from which the syndicate can access mining lands, once the application process is approved.
“Long gone are the days, when what people call small miners have to suffer at the hands of landlordism, bullyism, bossmanism, and all the “isms” that you can talk about,” she told those present.
In recent times, small miners have been speaking out against the treatment meted out to them by the well-established miners, who would grant them permission to mine on their properties but when there is a “shout” or the gold is found, would give them marching orders.
Minister Broomes said the syndicate will not only empower small miners but would create equal opportunity for all. “All of you will benefit and will benefit equally,” she said while emphasizing that the Government is creating a level playing field for all miners.
Minister Broomes noted that during the last meeting with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ministry of Finance and Natural Resources, representation was made by the small miners present to the Finance Minister Winston Jordan, for similar concessions to be granted.
She said that appeal has now made the way for syndicates to access similar concessions being accessed by GGDMA, once they are tax compliant.
In her address,the Minister not only educated the miners on the syndicates and the concessions to be offered once compliant but also encouraged the miners to mine in an environmentally friendly manner. “You must care for the environment,” she emphasized.
Additionally, she said while some are of the opinion that she is against the establishment of business in interior and mining locations, that is not the case. However, she is totally against Human Trafficking. Minister Broomes, who is a US State Department recognized Heroine, said children must be given the opportunity to complete school and enjoy their childhood.