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Small-Scale Dredging for Gold and Diamonds in Guyana


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Author Swain WA


Mining in Guyana dates back into antiquity and a brief history of gold and diamond mining and of the small-scale miner, the pork-knocker, is given. The gold and diamond deposits found on the beds and in the flats of old and present rivers and the current methods of investiga- ting these deposits are briefly described. Methods of mining these deposits including the small-scale hand methods of pitting and diving with or without helmets are also briefly described. ‘The small-scale method of dredging using a suction dredge in conjunction with a diver is described in more detail, from its develop- ment to current practice, without giving too much mechanical and technical details. The organisation of the industry and the mining titles, laws and policy relating thereto are reviewed. A brief account is given of the socio- economic role of the industry. Conclusions are made regarding the need for improvements in existing equipment and financing and for incentives to stimulate production. The future outlook of the industry is con- sidered.