…miner allegedly converts thousands of acres prospecting land to mining land…application fast-trackedQuestions are being raised over the process being used by a miner, who is believed to be closely affiliated with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) through business interests, to acquire mining permits.At the heart of the transaction is the alleged questionable conversion of thousandsActing GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennisonof acres of prospecting land to mining land status.According to documents seen by Guyana Times, the miner applied for and was granted conversions to mining permits for land in the North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini) through a mineral company. A total of 19,902 acres of land were referenced by the documentation.All these applications were made on November 13, 2017. Subsequently, Guyana Geology and Mines Commissioner (acting) Newell Dennison’s authorisation can be seen on the application, with instructions being issued that the conversion be made.While it took less than two months for the large-scale miner’s application through his company to be processed, a prevailing complaint among mining syndicates isSmall miners who have protested for fairness in the GGMCthat it takes years for their applications to be processed and lands to be made available.Mining syndicates were developed after the Natural Resources Minister met with miners in January 2016. The decision was made to cluster small miners across the mining districts for them to benefit from concessions and support each other, something they were unable to achieve, mining on their own.Back in June, small miners had protested against GGMC’s top officials. The small-scale miners had contended that they were being neglected by the GGMC and had accused the organisation of being corrupt, hence calling for the sacking of Dennison and his Technical Adviser, Donald Singh.The miners alleged that they have been unable to mine for years since their applications are not being looked at.“We in the mud day and night, with cassava bread and butter, fighting to feed our kids and give our children a better life and the ‘big boys’ them in GGMC, soon as a gold bore them get some big friend and the land suddenly become them own, all the time they deh in big fancy bed, AC and nice bed and never see what the bush look like. All the ‘big boys’ we calling ayo, come join we in the jungle and let you see what we does go through day and night, toiling in the mud and you only want hear a gold bore and suddenly is ayo one,” a very upset protester, Juliet Parsram had lamented.Berbice small miner, Lloyd Moore, had said they are fighting for fairness,s noting that they feel discriminated against by the GGMC. He called for immediate action to be taken by President David Granger or Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, to assist in alleviating the sufferings of small miners.“We expect fairness, a level playing field for everyone, we trust that the authorities, the Minister and the President should intervene so that at least it can alleviate the unemployment that presently exists in Berbice,” he had said.Moore said the impact of the level of unemployment is vast with various sectors being affected. Secretary of the National Small Miners Association, Leon Moses, had called on the Government to look into the condition of the Puruni, Region Seven, road.“The rainy season and the roads have deteriorated very badly this year; trucks cannot pass, goods and ration cannot get through between Itabali and Puruni crossing. Small miners are suffering, the industry in that area have come practically to a standstill, people take three or four days to traverse the road and what we are saying we are calling on the authorities, we are calling on the Government to do something and fix this road,” he had said, rounding up the cries of the small miners.