Guyana's National Action Plan, or NAP, has launched a series of plans aimed at phasing out the use of mercury in the South American country's mining sector.
The Ministry of Natural Resources met this week with regulatory agencies, miners’ associations and international partners to exchange ideas about advancing the United Nations’ Minamata Convention on Mercury. Guyana became a signatory to the treaty in 2013.
“The need to have conclusive, viable alternatives to mercury is more important than ever following health and safety concerns that arose earlier this year with unsafe emissions at the Guyana Gold Board Brickdam facilities,” the government noted in a public statement.
The Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, said the meeting sought to create a working group to advance the work of the NAP and address any shortcomings in the document.
Projects aimed at drastically reducing the dependence on the toxic element, which is used to for ore separation, was discussed by the Conservational International (CI) Guyana and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
CI Guyana, in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility, (GEF) will soon introduce the Eldorado Gold Project, a USD$ 5.7 million project that will work with artisanal and small-scale miners in regions Eight and Nine to explore mercury-free mining along the supply chain from prospectors to producers by 2025, according to Caribbean 360.
The WWF will also implement Mercury-free extraction models and sharing of mercury data on a regional level with funding from the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM). The Guyana Geology and Mines Commissions (GGMC) will also participate in these efforts, which are scheduled to start later this year.