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NFL Jerseys Clearance gold miners say their production target is 500

… want new regulations scrappedBy Neil MarksWhen the elderly Pastor Skeete got up on the stage to sing his primary school song “Gold, gold, gold, Just give me Potaro Gold,Cheap Jerseys China,” everyone joined in on the chorus.It’s a chorus they will be singing today when they make the 194-mile journey to Georgetown to meet with President Bharrat Jagdeo over new mining regulations which they say could cripple their livelihood.Singing “Potaro Gold” was Pastor Skeete’s way of saying that gold mining has always been the mainstay of Mahdia – a community that once attracted Caribbean nationals to its gold mines along the Potaro River.Today, an estimated 8, 000 residents, including the Patamuna people of Campbell Town, still depend on those gold mines; they know no other way of making a living.“There are no alternative jobs,” declared Ivan Pio, the captain of Campbell Town.And it’s not just the people of Mahdia and Campbell Town who depend on gold mining. Workers from all across the coast seek jobs in its mines and minibus drivers depend on the thriving industry to transport passengers to and from Georgetown.“Mining must continue; mining is our life,” said miner Timothy Junior. Hundreds of Mahdia residents who turned out to a meeting Tuesday night in the community shared the same view.Visitors to Mahdia are greeted by a large yellow banner with the appeal ‘Please do not stop gold mining.” In the community, yellow ribbons and flags flutter at every turn. Residents wear the yellow ribbon as bandanas; some tie it around their arms and legs. Other residents have hunted their clothes baskets for anything yellow to wear in support of the cause.A miner examines a young Acacia tree which was planted in a mined out area in Mahdia.Miners have been allowed to continue cutting down trees in the areas where they mine, but new regulations proposed by the government aims to stop this by having the miners give notice six months in advance of the area they intend to mine and to stipulate the clear felling of trees which would accompany their intended activity.Miners say that if the government goes ahead with the regulations they will not survive; Mahdia will not survive.“They (the government) have to rethink this thing. I have a family to take care of; I can’t wait six months to pay my grandchildren’s school fees,” said Vincent Xavier, a miner now in his 50s said.The government is putting the new regulations in place to meet its end of the bargain in an agreement with Norway that calls for sustainable mining as one of the measures to save forests in exchange for US$250 over the next five years. The Norway agreement fits into Guyana’s preparation of a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).“We never get the essence of the LCDS, you know,” Xavier said.  The captain of Campbell Town made it clear that his village of 600 people did not sign on to the LCDS.Captain Pio said that the President has made it clear that Amerindian lands are “private” and the forests in Amerindian communities are not part of a pledge to save the country’s forest. He said there are mining activities taking place within Amerindians lands – mining which his people depend on for jobs.“I can’t say why they want to tamper with Amerindian livelihood!” Pio declared.  Mahdia has a secondary school, but with mining alone buttressing the community,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, most of those who complete school end up in the mines, villagers say.“Mining is everything for us. (With the proposed new regulations), they have us living in fear,Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping,” said Timothy Junior, quoted earlier.The government has been arguing that long before the promulgation of the LCDS, concerns were being raised about the impact of mining on the environment. Therefore the interest is not to stop mining, but to have balanced, sustainable, exploitation of the country’s natural resources.The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) with funding from the Canadian Government has been countering the point that miners are irresponsible.At mined out areas in a section of Mahdia called St Elizabeth, miner Sewdatt Singh, said that miners are intent on following regulations to restore the land and engage in replanting when they leave an area.He had moved to Mahdia from Black Bush Polder in the late 80s and now support his family of six through his mining operations.He spoke to Kaieteur News while examining Acacia trees planted by the GGDMA at a mined out area. There are two sites where such replanting is taking place.Devon Agard, an environmental officer with the GGDMA said also that miners are developing tailing ponds to dump their waste water,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, instead of doing so in the creeks.But the regulations regarding reclamation and replanting are murky.Derek Babb, the manager of the Mines Division of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) explained that once a miner is giving a small claim (1,500-1,800 feet), for example, they virtually own the area for life, once they pay the annual rental of $1,000.And herein is buried the clarity of the regulations regarding reclamation and replanting. Babb explained that the general thought is that the system of recovery for gold is 30 percent. Therefore even when an area is mined, the miner can still legally return to the area and mine until the reserves are exhausted, thus disturbing the land even if it has been refilled and replanted.Miners can return to the land once they have paid an environmental bond of $100,000, Babb told Kaieteur News.Besides that, the miners argue that the industry,cheap nfl jerseys, which employs 100, 000 persons, harvests just about 0.0294 of uneconomic forested area yearly. Hence they say the number of trees cut down is minimal and the proposed regulations are unfair to them.The government is arguing that timber operators are virtually required to obtain pre-approval from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) before felling any tree while miners have been allowed to continue felling trees as they have perceived the need.Last year, Guyana saw one of the best years in gold mining. Small and medium size miners exceeded projections, declaring 305,Cheap NFL Jerseys China,178 troy ounces.  This represented a 17.2 percent increase over 2008 figure. The projection was for 257,503 ounces.The Guyana Gold Board said gold exports for last year amounted to US$281.68 million.This year, gold miners say their production target is 500, 000 ounces.President Bharrat Jagdeo has established a group chaired by Minister Robeson Benn, and consisting of members of the Mines and Forestry Commissions, and the Miners’ Association to study how the new regulations could be put in place.That committee’s report would be considered today when the President meets mining stakeholders today.Residents of Mahdia are not against new regulations, but they say those regulations must be implemented in such a way that their livelihood is maintained.
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