What is the GEF Component?
The GEF component of the initiative seeks to guide the switch to mercury-free mining and promote adoption of environmentally friendly approaches to mining in Guyana’s artisanal, small and medium-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector. The project will address the policy, technology, financial and other challenges faced in ensuring that mining is done in a responsible manner, while improving the productivity and profitability of the industry.
How will the GEF GOLD project work?
The project takes a holistic approach involving actors at all scales of the process from source to market.
Why is this project necessary?
Guyana is pursuing a ‘green’ model of development that emphasizes the sustainable management of natural resources and has international obligations that require the country to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of mercury in mining. The global trade in mercury is also becoming increasingly restricted while demand for mercury-free, responsibly mined gold is expected to grow. The ASGM sector will be impacted. This can be in a negative way if the sector continues with current unsustainable mining practices or resists adoption of the changes required. However, by embracing the new reality and taking advantage of the opportunities to shift to more responsible ways of mining, the longevity and profitability of the ASGM sector can be ensured.
Where will the project take place?
Demonstration sites will be set-up in Regions 1, 7 and 8. Outreach and engagement activities will take place in communities across the mining districts.
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Who is involved?
Stakeholders at all levels of the ASGM sector will be engaged. Conservation International – Guyana will execute this project.
Public sector decision-makers such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and non-government and private sector actors such as, the Guyana Women Miners Organisation, the National Toshaos Council and the National Mining Syndicate Inc., equipment manufacturers and retailers, gold jewelers, and mining and indigenous communities are also key stakeholders in the project.