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– Outlines strategic approachThe Hinterland regions of Guyana are seemingly critical for the resuscitation of the gold industry and will see improvements in a number of areas,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, including health,Wholesale Jerseys China, enforcement and infrastructure, President David Granger has said.However, while Granger has noted that these improvements will fall under the Guyana Government, he stressed that others have a role to play and their failure to do so could result in serious repercussions.During the launch of the Aurora Gold Mine last week, President Granger outlined several improvements for Guyana’s interior of Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9. In his outline, he also highlighted the intrinsic link between the development of the hinterland and the development of the gold industry.According to Granger, gold has been the country’s largest foreign exchange earner for a number of years with record breaking production in 2013 and a recorded seven percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. Gold exports in 2014 were recorded at US$469M.However, he said, this situation shifted with a sharp decline in gold prices, which led to a reduction of production and in declarations and earnings. Additionally, the rising costs of gold production also resulted in the closure of several small operations and the loss of hundreds of jobs along with the slowing of the growth of the economy.He emphasised that these factors create uncertainty, instability, and insecurity in the industry.Additionally, Granger noted that Guyana’s gold deposits are primarily found in the hinterland regions. However, he continued, these areas lack proper administration. Noting the size of mining communities such North West, Bartica, Mahdia, and Lethem, Granger said these areas are not even towns and with no real seat of government.While he noted that some public services have improved, further strides are needed.Amongst areas of improvement were education, health, crime prevention and enforcement, infrastructure, and trafficking in persons.President David GrangerSpeaking in the area of infrastructural development, Granger emphasised that while the hinterland held much potential and wealth, it was greatly underdeveloped. “This part of the country has the greatest potential but the worst infrastructure.” He said that infrastructure improvements such as the creation of roads,Cheap Jerseys From China, bridges and stellings will encourage greater economic activity. He further said that these developments will provide greater access to the country’s natural resources.“Infrastructure is an investment, not a liability. Opportunities will follow the roads and bridges,” he said.He continued, “On the part of the state, we will help companies through infrastructure to reduce their costs, to transport employees and materials more efficiently and also uplift the treasury.”Additionally, he said, the Ministry of Education will work towards providing better education to children in the hinterland while the Ministry of Public Health will work towards better primary health care, particularly since the area is prone to vector borne diseases. He also stated that the Ministry of Social Protection must direct its efforts towards decreasing Trafficking in Persons (TIP) especially of young women while decreasing the high incidence of mining fatalities.Safety for allAccording to President Granger, one of the biggest threats to investments in the Hinterland regions has been the lack of adequate security.Stressing that there must be improved security and human safety, he shared that the Guyana Government is developing a plan to improve security for companies, households and individuals. He emphasised that input by stakeholders will be a necessity in the drafting of the security plan.“Gold mining is becoming increasingly dangerous; miners are being killed, criminal elements are moving into the hinterland and robbing and murdering miners,” Granger said. Mining pit accidents, he added, have also led to deaths and injuries. According to information coming out of a Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate mining deaths, 62 persons have lost their lives in the mining sector in the last 60 months. Further, 25 persons lost their lives in 16 accidents between June 2014 and May 2015.Granger stressed that more concern must be on safety standards both inside the mines and outside of them. He added that enforcement will also be essential. He further said that safety standards will be put in place and companies and persons found to be in breach will face legal consequences.Setting his sights on the environment, Granger said that there is need for improvement in this area as well. He noted that gold mining has exposed hinterland areas to environmental degradation and this must discontinue,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, he stressed. He added that there must be a mandatory process of land reclamation and reforestation following mining ventures.“Responsibility of the environment is not only for the state; it’s also the responsibility of those who own mining concessions.” He said that even after businesses would have ceased operations, there should not be drastic reminders of their presence.Furthermore, the health and safety of entire communities that are threatened by mining practices must be taken into consideration. He said that indiscriminate mining is the leading cause of environmental degradation, including land erosion and polluted waterways.“The gold mining sector must be more environmentally conscious and secure. The industry must be conscious of the impact of the activities on the physical environment as well as the effects of mining on communities and human settlements,” he said.He also stressed that the administration will provide access to quality health services while these services will be boosted in hinterland communities.“Unbribeable”Meanwhile, law enforcement will have a serious role to play, Granger said. This role will not only focus on robbers and murderers but also perpetrators of white collar crimes and corruption.Granger noted that while the government had its job of improving its capabilities to better administer to the hinterland,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, there were persons who were working in contravention to Government’s efforts. These persons, he said, were both inside Government agencies and outside of it.He made mention of the Curacao case of 2012 when 476 pounds of gold valued at millions of US dollars were found after leaving Guyana. Additionally, he noted the Moleson Creek case of 2008 involving 30 pounds of smuggled gold. He went on to say that breaches such as these are the results of corruption or incompetence, or a mixture of both.“We all need to pay more attention to strategic policies and the long-term plans and the enforcement of the law if all of us and our children are to benefit from the gold that is within the bowels of our country,jerseys cheap nfl,” Granger stressed.He said that the administration plans to introduce systems of control through the Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Gold Board. He added that focus will be placed on making officials “unbribeable”. For those who accept bribes, he said, they will not escape the “long arms of the law”.“We want the gold mining industry to be clean,” he stressed.Additionally, he said, there will be a level playing field for small, medium and large scale miners and all levels will be protected while none will be deprived by the state.“This sector must be dragged out of the 19th century…The national economy would be significantly enhanced and the lives of persons of the hinterland and miners will be greatly enriched if the industry were to be placed on safer administrative and surer economic bases.”
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