Marudi mining disputeThe tensions associated with the Marudi mining dispute are likely to ease as stakeholders approved and signed an agreement that will chart the course forward for mining in the Marudi Mountains in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).The Natural Resources Ministry on Monday announced the conclusion of the mediation process which was held on April 23 to 24 and was aimed at “resolving the conflict that had escalated between large- scale mining company Romanex, miners, and several communities in South Rupununi, Region Nine”.Romanex Company Representative Marshall Mintz expressed gratitude to Major General (Retired) Joe Singh, noting that the situation would have been “chaotic” had it not been mediated. The Ministry stated that it was “very pleased with the outcome of this historic process”, noting that it was “the first of its kind in Guyana”.The Ministry noted that representatives from the Rupununi Miners Association; Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO); the Romanex Mining Company, and leaders from the neighbouring Amerindian communities of Aishalton, Awariwaunau, Karaudanawa, Achiwuib, Maruranau, and Shea played an integral part in their flexibility in crafting a workable agreement.Also present at the mediation were representatives from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who formed the technical team.The Ministry had disclosed on Thursday that key focus would have been placed on “crafting workable solutions for parties in resolving mining, environmental and social issues.”The decision to undergo mediation followed a meeting Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had with stakeholders at Aishalton Village last month. At this meeting, concerns had been raised over illegal mining, and environmental and social issues. After the discussions, the Minister noted the seriousness of the problems and expressed that a mediated solution was “the best means” of resolving the prevailing issues.After the parties agreed to the said approach the Ministry appointed Major General (Retired) Joe Singh as mediator. It was also explained that the supporting team would have included Technical Officers from the Ministry along with representatives from the GGMC, the EPA, and the GWMO.It was in November last year that the miners of Marudi Mountain staged a protest highlighting the threat of being evicted by the miningMining in the Marudi Mountains (File photo)company Romanex Guyana. It was reported that over 300 miners had been calling on the Government to have their operations regularised so that their livelihood would not be affected.