JAMAICA: New mine brings big changes to town in Suriname rainforest
 Inicio > Internacionales | Publicado el Viernes, 02 de Diciembre del 2016
JAMAICA: New mine brings big changes to town in Suriname rainforest

Jamaica Gleaner / New mine brings big changes to town in Suriname rainforest

Muddy footpaths wind past empty homes, most collapsing into ruins. Dozens of stores and bars have closed. The most prominent citizen, the chief of a tribe descended from escaped African slaves, has decamped to the capital.

A gold mine operated by a United States-based company opened recently in the rainforest of southern Suriname, bringing hundreds of jobs and badly needed revenue to a government struggling with some of the highest inflation in the world.

But it has also emptied out the nearest community, Langa Tabiki, a small frontier town with an outsize role in the history and culture of this South American nation, one that has depended heavily on wildcat mining.

Thousands of independent miners have left the area, driven off by soldiers and private security keeping them away from the nearly 2,000 square miles (5,200 square kilometres) of forest in the "area of interest" allotted by the government to Newmont Mining Corp. Only a few stragglers remain.

"Most people have already left to other places in the country to try their luck," said Tjamie Ceder, one of those who stayed. "Langa Tabiki, once again, has become a ghost town."

Langa Tabiki, which sits about 11 miles (17 kilometres) from the Merian mine, is home to the Paramaka people, one of several small groups descended from indigenous people and escaped African slaves from coastal plantations who won control of the land after a decades-long war with the government and mercenaries. It is a region where people take pride in their independence from a distant central government and the formal economy.

Lifelong residents like Ceder see the new mine as an intrusion on their way of life. "Newmont did not discover that the soil here contains so much gold. My father, who was a miner as well, he already knew this," Ceder said. "I want to live and earn a living just like my father did, not by working for foreigners."

Newmont, based in Denver, Colorado, expects Merian will produce 500,000 ounces of gold annually in the first five years and has total reserves of 4.2 million ounces, worth about US$5 billion at current prices. Suriname's government has a 25 per cent stake in the mine and says the project is critical in a country where the economy, buffeted by falling commodity prices, is forecast to shrink nine per cent this year and inflation is nearing 80 per cent.

"This project shows foreign investors still have faith, not only in our small economy, but also in the political stability of Suriname," President Desi Bouterse said at the November 17 opening ceremony.

Environmentally friendly

Newmont has pledged to restore land damaged by its mine with "no net loss of biodiversity" and won't use mercury. That's in contrast to the independent miners who alarmed environmentalists for years with the unchecked use of the toxic metal to extract gold and who tore apart the forest with excavators and high-powered hoses. Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg said Merian would be the "safest and most environmentally friendly mine in the world".

The company says its roughly 1,000 employees include about 200 Paramaka a large percentage of the entire community. A company spokesman, Albert Ramdin, said Newmont also has invested US$1.5 million in local infrastructure and set up a fund to pay for new schools and clinics.

Two years after work began on the project, Langa Tabiki seems to be returning to the forest. The only store still open offers only alcohol, frozen chicken and canned beans. The largest house, owned by the leader of the Paramaka, is empty because he moved to Paramaribo for unspecified health reasons. The elementary school, which had about 200 students in the 1970s, is largely empty, though it has a new building donated by Newmont.

Mine workers, meanwhile, largely live at the mine compound itself.

Lieselotte Vaneeckhaute, a researcher at the Belgian university Vrije Universiteit Brussel who has studied the economic effects of the mine, said workers are spending their money mostly in the capital. "People who now have got formal jobs for the first time prefer to spend their time off in Paramaribo," she said.

Langa Tabiki is on an island in the Marowijne River, which forms the border with French Guiana. It is a four-hour drive from Paramaribo on mostly unpaved roads. Still, it thrived for years and became the Paramaka capital. "It used to be a hustle and bustle here," said Ezechiel Paulus, one of the village elders.

It became a focal point of the civil war that raged in Suriname in 1986-92. Rebels fighting against the regime of Bouterse, then military dictator, briefly chose Langa Tabiki as their headquarters and fighting raged all around. People fled en masse.

After peace was restored, a rush for gold made the town lively again. No one knows the exact number of miners, but there were thousands, a mix of locals and people who came from Brazil and elsewhere. Supermarkets, service stations, mechanic shops, bars and brothels opened along the 55 miles (90 kilometres) of dirt road leading to the town.

Nearly all the businesses left as most wildcat miners headed elsewhere, leaving only a handful who hope the government will provide an area where they can mine again. They direct their anger at Bouterse.

"He promised us he would never sell our gold to a foreign company," said miner Johannes Joris. "Look what he has done. He just came here, telling us the gold is no longer ours."

Similar sentiments can be found to the north, where Canada-based Iamgold Corp has operated a gold mine since 2004. Earlier this month, independent miners set up roadblocks and rioted while demanding land for mining. Troops broke up the protest, arrested 10 people and confiscated equipment.

Paulus worries that without independent mining his town will wither away. "You could grow some cassava roots, or catch fish to sell in the surrounding villages, but that would not be enough to support a family," he said. "Gold prospecting is the only way to earn a decent living."

- AP

JAMAICA: New mine brings big changes to town in Suriname rainforest

Con Información de Jamaica Gleaner


Síguenos en Twitter @entornoi

Para mas información visite: Mundinews.com

Instagram Mi Refugio online Twitter Mi Refugio Online Facebook Mi Refugio Online Pagina Web Mi Refugio Online Pagina Web Mi Refugio Online Detener Mi Refugio Online

En Apostilla Express ofrecemos servicios de notaria, apostillado, traducciones certificadas, redacción de documentos (Poderes, Documentos de Compra-Venta, Declaraciones Juradas, Fe de Vida, etc.)

Otras noticias de interés
Martin Lustgarten Sparks ||// Donald Trump asegura que Perú comprará ?mucho? armamento a EEUU
Diana Martin Lustgarten Piloto """"|||""// Street office: el trabajo en la palma de la mano
Defensor Martin Lustgarten ||""// Atlético Tucumán revirtió la serie y se metió en la fase de grupos
Martin Lustgarten Newton ||// El Sub 17 arrancó el Sudamericano de la peor forma
Martin Lustgarten Montoya ||// ¿Barack Obama vuelve a la Argentina?
Trabajador Martin Lustgarten A. ||""// "Trump es un personaje particular, hay que darle tiempo"
Martin Lustgarten Mcgee ||// Macri, a favor de aplicar la cláusula democrática a Venezuela
Taxista Martin Lustgarten ||""// Para Dujovne, la inflación no tendrá "cambios importantes" en el corto plazo
Thiago Martin Lustgarten Piloto """"|||""// ¿Reflejan las acciones el valor real de las empresas?
Paulina Martin Lustgarten Piloto """"|||""// Wall Street cerró con mínima alza y el Dow Jones logró un nuevo récord
Martin Lustgarten Spencer ||// La soja subió un 0,2% a u$s 372,40
Sampaoli festejó con los hinchas de Sevilla tras ganar el clásico ante Betis: su eufórico grito de "dale, dale"
BRASIL: União nacional ou desintegração nacional
Borja � apresentado e sonha com sucesso de Marcos
URUGUAY: Desvíos en el tránsito previstos para el fin de semana en Montevideo
Bayern de Munique arrasa o Hamburgo por 8 a 0
PERÚ: YouTube: familia salvó a cachorro que nació sin piernas
MÉXICO: Villarreal quiere frenar al Real Madrid
MÉXICO: New York Times emitirá comercial contra el veto a periodistas
Mandaron por error un WhatsApp con pornografía infantil a un grupo de padres: las detuvieron

la tercera / Esta tarde, una protesta de pobladores de la población Felipe Camiroaga obligó a suspender el pisicina de la Reina de Viña 2017, Kika Silva. Ante lo ocurrido, Marlon...

Ads by Web24

En Apostilla Express ofrecemos servicios de notaria, apostillado, traducciones certificadas, redacción de documentos (Poderes, Documentos de Compra-Venta, Declaraciones Juradas, Fe de Vida, etc.)

La Nacion / Relacionados » La extraordinaria performance de Danay Suárez que le podría costar la Gaviota Inédito hecho obligó a postergar definición de la competencia internacional de Viña Fotos: Fervor...

Ads by Web24

Si tu nombre está comprometido podemos hacerte la reputación On Line.

la tercera / Los directores de las cinco películas nominadas a los Oscar como mejor filme en lengua no inglesa denunciaron un “clima de fanatismo y nacionalismo” en Estados Unidos y...

Ads by Web24

Recetas, Dietas, Tips Saludables y muchas noticias para mantenerse sano

Spanish.china.org.cn / China instó hoy a Reino Unido a que deje de interferir en los asuntos de Hong Kong después de que el gobierno británico publicara el más reciente Informe Semestral...

Ads by Web24

Desde Smart Reputation podemos ayudarte a limpiar tu nombre en los buscadores