Major efforts are being made to incorporate mercury-free processes into gold recovery as the nation moves to phase out the use of the chemical in the extractive industries, says Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman.
The minister, during a radio programme “Insight”, said that the regulatory bodies are working along with Conservation International (CI) to examine and implement alternatives.
“They are finding better ways of recovering gold… that is said to be green; that is organically produced not with too many chemicals, in particular, mercury, there is a higher value for it on the world market,” Trotman said.
CI is not only working to ensure recovery of green gold but also, find markets for the recoverable.
“They’re are helping us to find those markets. I believe it is a commendable programme and I wish to thank both the outgoing and current directors of CI and all of the hardworking people there for this initiative. It is not just in Guyana. It is shared amongst a few countries but we are seen as one of the flagship countries that will take this project forward globally” said Trotman.
The Minister’s statements come weeks after the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), through the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen protocols governing the importation of mercury.
Trotman said that CI has been setting up model stations around the country, and has been working with miners, the National Mining Syndicate (NMS), the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGMA) and the Guyana Women’s Miners Organisation (GWMO), and other stakeholders.