New police unit in Guyana will target illegal mining

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) " Guyana is creating a police unit to target illegal mining activity in the vast hinterlands of the South American country.

Natural Resources Ministry official Derek Lawrence said Tuesday that the officers will have a broad mandate to make arrests and issue stop-work orders in a region where illegal gold mining has flourished amid a lack of regulation and law enforcement.

The new police unit will initially have about 30 members. Its creation follows a series of incidents in which miners were killed in the collapse of unreinforced open-pit gold mines in the rain forest. The deadliest of those incidents killed nine miners in May 2015.

Officials are also seeking to stem an informal gold trade in which miners seek to evade paying royalties to the government.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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