The Natural Resources Ministry on Thursday collaborated with the Australian High Commission to facilitate an Australia Alumni Mining Symposium which was held under the theme “Towards a Green Development Strategy, Ensuring Decent Work Environments for Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM).”The two-day symposium, aimed at creating a safer environment for miners through improved safety practices, developing the capacity of miners through training and sharing international practices in the areas of exploration and prospecting, gold recovery, alternative technologies to mercury, improved livelihoods, and environmental management.It is also expected to create solutions and good policies, so as to ensure that those individuals who work in mining activities are operating under decent working conditions.Stakeholders were involved in discussions on the process that is being undertaken to market Guyana’s gold resources, and business considerations when investing in artisanal mining. Additionally, approaches will be explored which can enable miners to apply geological data to locate economically viable deposits, and alternatives that can be used in the place of mercury, which is known to damage the health of miners after exposure for some time.To commence the day’s discussions, the Alumni Coordinator of the University ofAlumni Coordinator of the University of Western Australia, Muza GondweWestern Australia, Muza Gondwe, explained that miners contribute significantly to the local communities, and therefore commented on the needs of these miners to efficiently produce high yields.“This issue (revolves) around exploration and providing ASM miners with the capacity and tools, skills, and knowledge to efficiently find gold; and in doing so, reduce the damage to the environment, improve health and safety, increase recovery, increase profitability, and improve livelihoods,” she said.The remarks of Australian High Commissioner John Pilbeam were read by a representative, who explained that this was an enterprise which had been in the making for many months, and is important to the overall growth of the industry.“Mining seminars are a dime a dozen, but what I wanted to see was a symposium that looked at mining and development (while) zeroing in on the little guy and gal. Small scale miners are the key contributors to Guyana’s economy. They account for almost 70 percent of the gold that the Government buys”, the statement detailed.It was related that there is seldom participation from women at mining camps in Guyana, but that is one of the situations which should be modified.The forum will conclude today.
The American Automobile Association predicts that 37.3 million people nationwide will take trips of 50 miles or more this weekend, compared with 37 million last Thanksgiving, Montgomery said. Officials at the Los Angeles International Airport are seeing the same flat numbers, due to higher airfares and some airlines cutting flight schedules due to fuel costs. Passenger volume from Friday through Monday is expected to reach 1.8 million people, the same as last year. But Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is anticipating a passenger volume of 20,000 people beginning Wednesday, compared with 15,000 last year. “The main change is that we’ve had some good growth on the core destinations,” such as Las Vegas, airport spokesman Victor Gil said. This year, Delta Airlines added flights to Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Carrier JetBlue signed on at Burbank this year, adding flights to New York City. “This place is busier now more than ever,” Gill said. “Our parking lots continue to fill up.” Officials have set up a help line for those driving into Bob Hope Airport looking for parking. Motorists can call (818) 565-1308 and an airport official will direct them, Gill said. He also urged incoming travelers to take public transportation. Meanwhile, 80 percent of all California Highway Patrol officers will be out on the freeways beginning Wednesday, as part of the CHP’s annual Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period. Officers will particularly be looking for those who don’t wear seat belts. Last year, 56 people were killed on California roadways during Thanksgiving weekend, CHP officials said. Within the CHP’s jurisdiction, 39 people were killed in car crashes. Fifteen of those were not wearing seat belts. “If you don’t buckle up, if you speed or drink and drive, plan on being stopped and pulled over,” Gary Dominguez, the CHP’s Southern Division chief, said through a statement. “It takes two seconds to buckle up.” Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The California travel industry is giving thanks this week to what is expected to be the biggest holiday getaway weekend of the year – despite gas prices that are 20 percent higher than last year. Some 2.9 million Southern Californians are expected to travel this Thanksgiving weekend, a 4.7 percent increase over last year, the Automobile Club of Southern California said Monday. About 2.3 million will drive, nearly 5 percent more than last year, some 400,000 people will fly and the rest plan a cruise or train trip. “This seems to be a trend we’ve seen since 2003, when travel started to pick up again after 9-11, and the start of the war in Iraq,” said Marie Montgomery, spokeswoman for the Auto Club. “People want to go somewhere and feel good enough to take a trip.” And motorists will have ideal weather for traveling, with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s predicted through Monday for most of Los Angeles, said Bill Hoffer, spokesman for the National Weather Service based in Oxnard. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It’s going to be gorgeous,” he said. “It’s more than we deserve.” This year, Palm Springs edged out Las Vegas as the top holiday destination, Montgomery said, followed by Mexico and Mexico cruises, Hawaii, San Francisco and Northern California. Hotel, motels and resorts are also expected to benefit, although room rates are on the rise because of increases in natural-gas costs, said James Abrams, president and CEO of the California Hotel and Lodging Association. “The number of motorists on the road will impact hotels, particularly for hotels in California that are in drive markets,” he said. Nationwide, holiday travel will remain flat, however, due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Montgomery said.