Rupununi Miners Association wants Gov’t to bar rogue miner from operating

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L-R: Mining in the Rupununi; Some signatures of the Rupununi Miners

…says presence at Marudi Mountains hindering miners’ relationship with Romanex Mining Company

The Rupununi Miners Association (RMA) has written to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat requesting that the Government prohibits businessman Vevakanand Dalip from operating in the Marudi Mountains backdam due to his breach of several mining regulations.

In the letter seen by the Village Voice News, the RMA wrote to the Minister on January 6, 2021, presenting several reasons to support their request. The letter was signed by over 100 miners showing support to the RMA’s position.

According to the Association, in the past, Dalip has operated on the Mozoa Mountain (Region Nine) in a reckless manner; damaging the environment.

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Romanex Exploration Guyana Ltd. possesses the mining licence to operate there. The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) reportedly found Dalip to be “in breach of many mining regulations” while many of the other miners who work at Mozoa Mountain under the Company have done so previously with limited destruction to the environment.

The RMA said that Dalip has many debts and has a tendency of employing indigenous men and not paying them the salary promised.

“To date, he owes some indigenous men from Aishalton Village, even an excavator operator by the name of Brian Williams is owed $190,000. He also chopped down one indigenous man’s hammock while he was lying down in his hammock and chased out the others from his camp without paying the young men,” the letter said.

Furthermore, the Association told the Minister that Dalip has made attempts to illegally take over the Marudi Mining Licence. They reported that Country Manager of Romanex Mining Company, Marshall Mintz was taken to court by Dalip in 2016 with a “bogus document” claiming that he was the rightful owner.

“After the Magistrate checked the documents which Vevakanand Dalip had and the documents which Mr. Marshall Mintz had, the case was called off within ten minutes and Mr. Vevakanand Dalip was instructed to pay Mr. Marshall Mintz and his lawyer for wasting the Court’s time and, up to today, Mr. Vevakanand Dalip still owes Mr. Marshall Mintz the sum of GY$100,000,” the RMA detailed.

Also on the list of complaints is Dalip’s alleged damaging of two bridges on the way to Marudi at the Keyrabb and Baboon creeks. As a result, miners now struggle to traverse the area during the rainy season.

Additionally, the Association informed Minister Vickram that Dalip has been blacklisted by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and barred from participating in contracts from December 2017 to December 2030 due to “fraudulent and collusive practices”. Dalip’s ban was widely reported in the press.

The Rupununi Miners Association stated: “We the members of the Rupununi Miners Association are not proud of having anything to do with Mr. Vevakanand Dalip, especially in our interest of where we need to work. Mr. Marshall Mintz has made it clear to our RMA Executive that he will work with decent miners. We will not allow one bad egg to spoil the entire tray.”

The letter was copied to Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai; Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton; Mintz; the Commissioner of the GGMC; Chairman of the National Toshao Council, Nicholas Fredericks; the South Rupununi District Council; Region Nine Regional Executive Officer, Karl Singh; Region Nine Chairman, Brian Allicock; and the Officer in charge at the Lethem Police Station.



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