(De Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – In addition to traditional mining products such as gold, oil and bauxite, there is interest in other minerals to be found in Suriname such as manganese (for paint and hardening iron), iron and nickel. “There is interest from China, and from other countries as well”, Idris Taus, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources (NH) tells DWT. Although these minerals are present in the ground, neither manganese, nor iron or nickel has been mined before in Suriname. Manganese is being pursued in Guyana by Reunion Manganese Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian multinational Reunion Gold Corporation (RGC). According to international media reports, RGC has stated that it will attempt to obtain 100 percent of the gold exploration rights in the Lely Mountains in East Suriname. Taus could not immediately confirm whether RGC is actually operating in Suriname or is trying to obtain the exploration rights from a local concession holder. In spite of the interest, no concessions have been granted to explore or mine for manganese, iron or nickel, which are mainly found in the mountainous areas of East and West Suriname. “No applications have been prepared or submitted as far as I know”, Taus adds. According to him, economic feasibility is paramount. Suriname has only a general picture of the mineral reserves in the hinterland, and NH is investing US$ 750,000 in donor funds to prepare a geological map of Suriname’s southernmost areas. An area along the southern border stretching some 20 kilometers inland will be mapped to get a better picture of the economic resources.