In January, a delegation comprising 11 members of Suriname’s National Assembly (NA) visited the Merian Gold Project, which is expected to begin commercial production later this year. The Negotiations Committee and the Traditional Authority of the Paramakan community also joined the visit.
Rabindre Parmessar – a parliamentarian and head of the Commission of Natural Resources who in 2013 led an extensive consultation process with civil society of the Merian investment agreement that was later approved by the NA – was head of the delegation.
The delegation was provided with an update on the construction of the mine which included a tour of the process plant, mine site and tailing storage facility. The parliamentarian also had a chance to interact with employees and members of the community.
For Mr. Parmessar the visit was a very special occasion. In a public meeting in Parliament held a few days after the visit, he told his colleagues,“it’s almost indescribable to make an imagination of Merian for people who have not seen it themselves” and ‘’I’m a happy man that all the time and effort for the negotiations, have turned out so good. All this is very good for Suriname who participates in this project for 25 %.’’ Furthermore, he said that the commissioning of this mine is very good news for Suriname where the economy is experiencing a recession because of the low prices of oil and gold.
‘’We all hear doom stories, but what we have seen at Merian is very positive,’’ he added. In closing his presentation Mr. Parmessar mentioned that he’s also very pleased to see that good working relationship Surgold has achieved with the Paramaka community and the good work that is being done together with Stcihting Unasat to help artisanal small-scale miners in the area avoid using mercury to recover gold.