GEORGETOWN, Guyana, July 31 – The protest action in the mining town of Linden is causing the country millions of dollars in lost revenue a senior government minister has said.
Residents of the bauxite town have been up in arms ever since demonstrators clashed with police over an increase in electricity rates that were due to have gone into effect from July 1.
Three people were killed during the disturbances and they will be buried on Wednesday.
Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud said that the protest actions were forcing stakeholders to adopt new measures in order to meet their commitment.
He said the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), were now compiling an analysis on the impact of the situation as both mining and logging have been affected.
“While they are tasked with this, we have been receiving some preliminary indications and what I can say is that the bauxite industry has seen close to one million US dollars in losses and is potentially growing,” he said.
Persaud said that there are two ships waiting to set sail, but that only one would be allowed at the moment to leave as there has been a halt in operation and there is a limited amount of produce to supply the demand.
“ This delay will see the industry incurring additional costs for every day the shipment is delayed, due to its contractual obligation,” he said, adding “already buyers are calling the company and talking about commitments and they are looking at alternatives.
“I think that is potentially damaging in the long- term,” he said.
A government statement said that some operators have had to incur high costs to airlift their produce into mining camps, and the GFC has since been issuing letters to buyers on request from miners, some of whom have been threatening legal action.
“The impact is biting at the operators and market levels, because if it is prolonged, market opportunities will be lost…we are looking at it closely and all stakeholders are hopeful that access will be available shortly, “Persaud said, urging the protestors to end their action.