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– demand release of one million acres of landThe Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) yesterday called on Government to release millions of acres of mining lands, amidst accusations that its members are involved in landlordism.The miners association says that Government has enough available land to release over one million acres.The allegations were contained in a recently released report of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) titled “Management and Systems Review – Inception Report”.In layman’s terms, landlordism takes place when holders of mining licences rent their land to smaller miners in return for a rent or proceeds from the activities.“The GGDMA recognizes that recently in the local press there has been an orchestrated attempt to resurrect a conversation about landlordism in the mining sectors,Cheap Authentic Jerseys Online, specifically with reference to the local medium scale operators who have been in the industry for more than 30 years.”According to the mining association, there is enough land held in the closed area system by the GGMC which can be allocated,Wholesale Adidas Shoes China, especially with the recent abandonment of several new claims,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, even more land is available to be issued.“The issue of landlordism therefore rests with the holders of the land, the state. We agree legitimate miners need land and will not allow the government to divide the little that we have while hoarding the lion’s share of Guyana’s mineral wealth.”GGDMA said that since a report of 2010, over one million acres of land have been added to the Closed Area Committee,Undefeated Air Max 97 For Sale Australia, representing approximately 1,000 claims that were either abandoned or given back each month for one reason or another.“A preliminary investigation would have shown an average of 1,000 medium scale licences were relinquished within the last year. As of March 31st, this year, thousands of claims have become invalid due to lack of payment, and while the GGMC has granted an extension until the 30th of April, it is doubtful that most will be renewed, effectively making even more lands available.”The association said that the question therefore of mineral lands not being available is moot.“The question therefore, is why this proposal on landlordism? It is most obvious that certain individuals want the government to breach their contractual agreement with licencees by taking away lands from legitimate holders and giving it to others.”GGDMA argued that a more pertinent recommendation that should be looked into is a cap on the amount of land that can be held within the closed area mechanism.According to the body, there are four legal ways of acquiring land – locating and applying for a claim; via lottery- this is restricted and only small miners are allowed to participate; public auction – this mechanism has yielded the GGMC in excess of $455M in auction fees for 2014 alone. This excludes the rental fees that must be paid annually; and via the free market system of sale and transfer by which one can buy and sell property acquired.“Outside of these methods no other system exists for acquiring of mining lands, despite what the consultants would have one believe. The subtle suggestion that lands be seized and reallocated outside of a free market system, one would hope is not the Government’s intention.”GGDMA said that it is greatly surprised researchers for the report did not consider that the issue was already dealt with extensively, by way of the established Special Land Use Committee (SLUC),Cheap Nike Air Max Wholesale, established by former President Jagdeo in 2009.“This committee was established as a result of the Guyana/Norway agreement for forest use (under the LCDS) to ensure that there is effective monitoring of forest use.”According to GGDMA, miners have been paying billions of dollars in revenue to the GGMC.“It is useful to note that many at that hard time,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, were barely scraping out a living in the mining sector and it would be grossly unfair to punitively deprive them of lands legally acquired and maintained. There has been a conscious investment of time and money to ensure that there is continuity by the larger operators and the association finds it mind boggling that fly by night operators are seeking to use political leverage to claim lands legally rented and to tempt the government to act outside of the law.”GGDMA claimed that during the height of the gold price, several non-miners entered the arena largely as real estate agents acquiring and selling lands for exorbitant prices, without any regard for the future of the industry.
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