019-i. Advice on ToR and review: EIA for gold mining Marowijne - Suriname

The NCEA advised on the Terms of Reference (ToR) for an EIA for a gold mining project in Suriname. The EIA was undertaken and reviewed by the NCEA.

Advisory reports and other documents

12 Mar 1996: Terms of reference
Appendices Advice

Significant details

A Suriname company intended to develop an environmentally friendly goldmine in the region of the Marowijne river in Suriname. It requested funds from the Dutch government for an environmental study on the effects of this project. The Dutch government then asked the NCEA to advise on Terms of Reference (ToR) for this study. In its advice, the NCEA focused a.o. on the following aspects which should be included in the EIA:

  • Analysis of current practices and problems of gold mining in Suriname and its impacts on the socio-economic and natural environment;
  • Overview of anticipated environmental effects of exploration activities;
  • Description of intended mining and processing methods which minimise environmental impacts;
  • Overview of mitigation measures, e.g. to avoid direct discharge of process water;
  • Plan for rehabilitation of outmined areas;
  • Description of the positive and negative impacts of proposed gold mining projects on the socio-economic situation, including attention to specified impacts;
  • Scheme for on-the-job training of miners;
  • Suggestions on how to organize a public awareness campaign on health and environmental effects of the use of mercury;
  • Recommendations for monitoring and evaluation of environmental restrictions, environmental impacts, and results of the rehabilitation plan.

Based on these ToR, an EIA was undertaken - but it was not fully completed. It concluded that further exploration does not seem feasible and necessary since there is sufficient evidence that there is gold in the concession area. The Dutch government asked the NCEA to review the unfinalised EIA report with the ToR as a review framework, and to make suggestions for follow-up actions. This advisory review (not available on this website) concluded that there were sufficient reasons for discontinuing work on the EIS, even though the expectations of the proponent and local inhabitants were high. 

Later, the Dutch embassy decided to withdraw support for this project because the economic feasibility of gold mining could not be substantiated.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Anthonie Leopold Hakstege
Julius de Kom

Chair: Dick de Zeeuw
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Margo Mining

Component Authority
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Further details

Country: Suriname

Last modified: 02 Apr 2019