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Training must precede codes of practice – mining syndicate urges

first_imgGold sector…elects first female PresidentThe codes of practice for local miners being ushered in by the Natural Resources Ministry must be preceded by extensive training sessions with local miners. This is according to the National Mining Syndicate.In an interview with this publication, former President of the Group, Renwick Solomon, warned of the ill effects should the codes be implemented before the proposed training. These, he said, could include miners misinterpreting the codes due to their technical references and unwittingly breaking the rules.Former President of the National Syndicates, Renwick SolomonWith this in mind, Solomon expressed the belief that the codes of conduct would only be workable under these conditions. He also stressed that the training must be over a period of time in order to avoid any confusion.“The codes of practice would only be workable if there is a component part within the whole process of training, because [Guyana Geology and Mines Commission] GGMC has been with this since 2005… 13 years. And it (training) must be over an extended period. (But) there’s always a cost attached to implementing these processes.”“They’ve been working with it to iron it out for the past 13 years. And to implement it now, they would have to have that hands-on approach to work with the miners to bring the process through. GGMC technical officers have to explain it to the ordinary Guyanese. People will read it and may not digest it.”New PresidentSolomon will no longer be agitating for these measures as President of the syndicates. On Thursday, the group hosted its second election where Cherryl Williams, a miner of 28 years, being elected as the first female President.Williams hails from the mining town of Bartica, in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). She replaces Solomon, who served in the capacity of President for one year. She brings to the post a wealth of experience, having being involved in the mining sector for almost three decades.Experienced miner Cherryl Williams will be the new President of the SyndicatesWilliams’ team comprises Troy Duncan who was voted in as Vice President. Carol Nurse, Dana Jones, Michael Bacchus, and Carol Fredericks were elected to serve as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasure, and Assistant Treasure respectively. Additionally, seven persons were elected to serve on the new Executive Committee.In a release from the syndicates, an elated Williams said, “I feel privileged to be elected not only as President of the National Mining Syndicate but also as the first female President.”The miner also said she understands her role is not to be taken lightly and acknowledged that much work has to be done to take the Syndicate and by extension miners forward.“Much has to be done and I am up for the challenge,” said Williams who thanked the past President and the Committee members for the work in 2017. “This new Executive promise to continue working towards the ‘good life’,” the President elected stated.CodesThe codes in question address several aspects of mining; the need for miners to have contingency and response plans; an environmental effects monitoring programme; that miners have the capacity to carry out mining land reclamation and effectively manage tailings.On Tuesday last, the Natural Resources Ministry hosted a meeting at the Marriott Hotel with industry stakeholders. In her address to attendees, Minister within the Natural Resources Ministry Simona Broomes informed them that Government was toughening its stance against delinquent miners.Claiming that the mining sector had been run like the “Wild West” up to that point, she urged participants to get themselves familiar with the codes. The codes constitute the do’s and don’ts of mining; aimed at mitigating environmental damage mining causes.“Moving into a green economy and green mining, it’s very important that all of us hold ourselves accountable and responsible for what we do. The code of practise can only be a code of practise if it is agreed upon and that is why you are here and if it is being enforced. And when it is enforced, you practise it.”“You can see here the pit and the shelving of the pit (codes); the question of safety and fatality in the industry is one that was discussed several times. The importance of the code of practise cannot be understated, since it touched on several aspects. Mercury, the environment, tail end, land reclamation which is very critical.”Legal Advisor to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Kara Duff Yehudah had explained that the codes were a simplified version of the Mining Amendment Act of 2005. But in this Act, the GGMC is mandated by law to publish the codes.“Regulation 248 states that the Commission shall approve or publish a code of practise for environmental mining which shall specify the requirements for mining activities on private and public lands,” she said.“The codes include provisions for waste management and disposal systems, mechanisms for sediment losses, effluent and contaminated drainage and emergency response plans, mine reclamation and closure plan, environment effects monitoring plans, sand and loam mining, quarrying and control flows from lower dams less than six meters in height.”last_img read more