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GGDMA lobbies for more benefits for workers in the sector


GGDMA AGM (Photo: GGDMA)

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association is calling for additional benefits from miners across a number of areas in the coming year.


The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), speaking at the 38th annual general meeting, says the mining industry is seeing a rise in new entrants both foreign and local.


The meeting was the first large gathering of the Association since May 2022, when the members of the GGDMA met with Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, during which the Government announced a number of measures that provided assistance to the mining sector.


President of the GGDMA Andron Alphonso noted that, through strong lobbying efforts and collaboration with the Government, the GGDMA has been able to unlock several benefits for miners, including tax incentives for the industry.


However, there are still a number of issues affecting the industry which must be addressed including the rising cost of production, the lack of adequate infrastructure, labour shortages, and the ongoing effort to find a concrete solution that will allow the industry to transition to mercury free mining.


GGDMA AGM (Photo: GGDMA)

Some necessary changes were proposed to keep up with growing needs of the sector.


These include; renewal of the Investment Development Agreements (IDAs), improved infrastructure, opening up of new mining lands, allowance for miners to have the option to be paid up to 100% of funds earned from gold sales in foreign currency and removal of restrictions on the age of ATVs for which waivers can be garnered.


The Assocaition has launched an initiative to support miners in need of work grounds. He added that several mining blocks would be made available to miners of all scales to access.


Members in attendance raised concerns over the increasing malaria cases in the interior and called on greater intervention and support from the Ministry of Health.


The GGDMA will continue to lobby government for: new roads; rehabilitation and upgrading of existing roads, bridges and airstrips; to examine a reduction in late fees charged by the GGMC, to seek additional funding for Mercury Free Mining Technology and to engage with banks and suppliers for better financial terms for the industry.


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