The Guyana Gold Board is currently using the laboratory facilities of Pure Diamond to burn the amalgam off the gold that has been sold to the state agency.
At a Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources held earlier today, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman acknowledged that “a private gold dealer” has been providing services to the State.
Trotman said this after being asked by the committee’s Chairman Odinga Lumumba if the Gold Board has been able to burn its gold following the closure of the lab located on Brickdam. Trotman told the committee that gold will never again be burnt at the Brickdam facility.
Trotman said that the government took the health matters of the GGMC and Gold Board workers seriously. He also said that the government is doing its best to ensure those workers who have been affected are given good health care.
After the meeting, the media asked Trotman which private facility is being used but he refused to say. What Trotman did say was that no money is being paid for the use of the facility.
However, Guyana Standard has been reliably informed that the Gold Board has decided to use Pure Diamond facility.
The facility has been used at least four times since the Brickdam Lab was shut down. In fact, Gold Board used that facility as recent as Monday last.
Guyana Standard understands that the facility has been certified as safe and the Gold Board deems it the best facility in the country.
Several weeks back, an independently owned local newspaper broke the story highlighting the plight of several GGMC workers who have been experiencing health problems due to emissions of mercury from a dysfunctional facility at the Gold Board. Medical tests proved that the workers had elevated levels of mercury in their blood. GGMC has since imported medical treatment for its affected workers.