Guyana-Chile begin strengthening mission in mining sector

A visiting four-member team of geologists from the Chilean technical agency Sernageomin on Monday paid a courtesy call on President David Granger at State House.

In Guyana to conduct technical geological surveys and field work to assess the conditions within Guyana’s mining sector, this visiting team comprises Project Manager Dr Juan Pablo Lacassie, Jaime Barrera, Laura Mateo Rio and Mariela Santana.

The team’s presence in Guyana and the research they will conduct would significantly help to contribute to the overall improvement of the sustainable development of the country’s extractive industries sector.

Miriela Santana, a Geologist from Sernageomin, presents President Granger with a publication containing information on Chile’s mining sector. They are flanked by (from left) Project Manager of the visiting team, Dr Juan Pablo Lacassie; and Geologists   Laura Mateo Rio and Jaime Barrera

In meeting this team, President Granger told them, “[We are] looking toward not only the technical means of extracting minerals, but also (establishment of) the regulatory framework. Of course [we must consider] the protection of the environment, to which both President Bachelet and I are deeply committed.”

He added that the engagement will serve both countries well, and is likely to be a precursor to future collaboration in other areas.

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told the team that Government’s policy in regard to the extractive sector stands on four pillars: sustainable use of the environment, better management of land resources, geological surveys, and mining safety.

“While your efforts will be focused on geological surveys and assistance, we have no doubt that you will continue to guide us in the other three areas, so that we lift those areas of focus,” he said.

Chilean Ambassador Claudio Rachel Rojas declared that this project is just one of many that will see the relationship between Guyana and Chile being strengthened as the two countries move step by step in working to develop their futures.

Previous Engagements

the team’s visit comes as a result of previous engagements between Guyana and Chile, which began in July last year when President Granger met with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile on the sidelines of the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Guyana. The two leaders had discussed a range of bilateral issues, including how Guyana could learn from Chile’s sound regulatory framework for the mining sector.

Those discussions continued in October, during President David Granger’s first State Visit to Chile, when Guyana received commitments of support for collaboration in the areas of trade, capacity-building in telecommunications, and geological mapping in the field of mining and environmental management.

With regard to mining, Chile had offered to provide technical assistance for geological mapping, which would allow for a scientific determination of the location of mineral wealth deposits in Guyana; and had invited Guyana to provide project proposals in the area of Geological and Metallogenic mapping and Petrographic studies.

Later in the year, the project will see 12 members from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) visiting Chile to observe mining operations there. President Granger has referred to Chile as an ideal partner in this area, given that that country has one of the most successful mining enterprises in the world. He has also highlighted the need for achieving a healthy balance between the effective management of Guyana’s renewable resources and preserving the environment.