The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) welcomes the Co-operative Republic of Guyana as its 62nd member.
“Guyana’s decision to join the IGF makes it an important part of a global forum to exchange experiences and learn about international best practices,” IGF Director Greg Radford said in a statement.
“We very much look forward to their participation in the forum, and to supporting the Guyanese government in its continuing efforts to build a strong and sustainable mining sector.”
Mining has played an important role in Guyana’s history. From large-scale bauxite mining to widespread artisanal and small-scale gold mining, the sector accounts for a significant portion of the national economy and exports, and is an important source of income and livelihoods.
“We view the IGF as an important forum at which Guyana can be guided with regards to formulating policy and strategies for the mining sector,” Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael G.C. Trotman said in a statement.
“To this end, we recognize the work of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association, the Guyana Women Miners’ Organisation, the Mining Syndicates, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources in reaching this important milestone which will redound to the benefit of the mining sector in Guyana.”
The Present Mining Act that governs mining in Guyana was last revised in 1989 and the regulations that see to the implementation of the act date back to 1973, with amendments. In 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources tasked its regulatory agencies, — including the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)—with identifying strategic priorities, legislative gaps in existing acts and regulations, and—more recently—a review of the fees and fines that are stipulated by legislation.
Following the reviews conducted, it was deemed that the acts and regulations were outdated. Many loop-holes were also identified. It was deemed necessary to revise the legislative framework that governs the extractive sector.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, through the Board of Directors of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, has earmarked a consultancy team to review the mining act and regulations in 2018.
“With improved governance, the sector can advance economic diversification and the creation of jobs and enhance sustainable investments in health, education and infrastructure,” Minister Trotman added.
For the year 2018, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has projected a gold declaration target of 800,000 ounces. The Ministry anticipates gold declaration to grow, with all categories of declarants growing. The MNR aims to place renewed emphasis on exploration, mining, environmental and land management and reclamation in the coming year, in order to position the sector towards a green trajectory in line with President David Granger’s vision of a green state. To this end, the MNR has proposed that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission invest in alternative technologies to enable mercury-free mining to become a reality.
Guyana announced its membership on October 24, 2107 during the IGF’s Annual General Meeting. The IGF is a voluntary partnership that welcomes any member state of the United Nations.
Guyana said it looks forward to accessing a number of services that IGF provides to members including: in-country assessments; capacity building and individualized technical assistance; guidance documents and conferences that explore best practices and provide an opportunity to engage with industry and civil society.
The IGF supports 62 nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure that negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared.
It is devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development and environmental stewardship.
These efforts are largely framed by the IGF’s flagship policy guidance and assessment tool, the Mining Policy Framework (MPF). The MPF lays out international best practices in six key pillars of mining policy and law: the legal and policy environment; financial benefit optimization; socioeconomic benefit optimization; environmental management; mine closure and post-mining transitions; and artisanal and small-scale mining.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development has served as Secretariat for the IGF since October 2015. Core funding is provided by the Government of Canada.