In light of an article published in the media regarding high mercury levels in some GTT employees, the Natural Resources Ministry sought to reiterate that it is committed to ensuring the well-being of citizens is protected.
The Ministry, in a missive to the media, said it acknowledges that there has been an exchange of correspondence with GTT pertaining to elevated levels of mercury reportedly detected in some staff members.
The Ministry said it is deeply concerned about the matter and is working towards the improved health of those affected.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reiterated that mercury has been in use in Guyana for decades and that it is used by miners in the amalgamation of “sponge” gold and in the burning of gold, mercury vapours are released. The Ministry stressed that the Government is not a user of mercury and that every effort is being made by the Guyana Gold Board and authorized dealers to prevent the escape of vapours in the process.
Further to this, the Ministry reminded that the Guyana Gold Board ceased burning gold at its Brickdam location as of April, 2018.
The Ministry of Natural Resources said that it is collaborating with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Protection to address all mercury related matters.
The National Steering Committee for the Minimata Convention met on August 13, last, to map the way forward for the reduction of the use of mercury in mining.