Above: the talks in Georgetown
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Guyana recently held talks with a high-level delegation from the Brazilian state of Roraiama to discuss the detention of “scores” of illegal Brazilian miners in Guyana.
Earlier this month, Guyana launched “Operation El Dorado” to combat what it said was widespread illegal and unregulated mining in the country.
According Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud, the operation intended to target illegal mining, and caught a large number of Brazilians.
He said he welcomed the Brazilian visit to ensure that Brazilian miners are registered and engaged in sustainable mining activities in compliance with national laws.
The Brazilian team reportedly agreed to work closely with the government of Guyana and the Brazilian embassy to provide support for Brazilians in order to regularize their activities in Guyana.
Operation El Dorado, which took place from April 10 to April 15 in the Puruni area, involved the inspection of mining camps and operations to determine the status of properties being worked, to verify mining privileges and registrations.
The Tactical Services Unit of Guyana’s Police Force also checked for guns, ammunition and drugs, while an immigration team checked the status of foreign workers.
A total of 94 foreign miners were in breach of either mining, environment or immigration laws, according to the government.
In most of those cases, miners were either without work permits, registration certificates or had expired visas.
In addition, 32 local miners were also found to be in breach of mining regulations.