Decisions taken in bauxite industry aim to capitalise on bauxite ore products

-Natural Resources ministry

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment said it continues to make decisions to maximise and add valu3the bauxite industry based on “sound technical and national considerations” despite claims to the contrary by the APNU.

In a press release, the ministry, through the Bauxite Unit of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission said there has been an increase in the number of companies, firms and stakeholders in the industry. Block 37, which is located near Linden, was leased to Bosai Minerals Guyana Inc while Block 38, located south of Ituni was leased to Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc, both within the mineral agreements signed when the companies took over operations from Omai Bauxite Company and Aroaima Mining Company.

“Block 37 has an ore grade suitable for RASC (Refractory A-grade Super Calcined) while Block 38 has an ore grade suitable for MAZ. Unfortunately the recent press statement by APNU did not capture this and somehow managed to confuse Bock 37 and 38,” the release said.

According to the ministry, the category of the ore from both deposits has not been thoroughly determined as a proven reserve, as such its true value is not known; however, historical records consider both deposits as probable. Block 37 currently remains as a reserve deposit and commitments must first satisfy the government prior to the issuing of any licences for the said deposit.

Further, Bosai Mineral Guyana Inc has already indicated an interest in expanding its operations; creating over 400 new jobs in Linden and its environs, as well as investing in an apprenticeship programme set to start next year. Bosai is expanding its Linden operations with the objective of facilitating new products on the bauxite market.

“The bauxite industry is not controlled by Bosai and BCGI only, there is also First Bauxite Corporation and Bauxite Corporation of Guyana Inc,” the ministry said, adding that the Bauxite Corporation of Guyana Inc is currently exploring deposits in the Berbice area, while First Bauxite Corporation is much more advanced with regard to exploration and mine development phases.

First Bauxite controls a large area in Guyana’s historical coastal bauxite belt, including the Bonasika Mining Licence and the Essequibo PGGS Prospecting Permit. First Bauxite’s bankable  feasibility study update defines and confirms the economic viability of an operation based on sequential mining of two bauxite deposits (Bonasika 6 and Bonasika 7) over a mine life of 36 years.

A number of companies have also applied for prospecting licences for Bauxite ore deposits in regions Three, Six and Ten though decisions will be taken based on “sound and technical evaluation taken into account the need to maximize benefits to Guyana.” The ministry also stated that Rusal, Omai and Bosai stood all the financial uncertainties for reinvigorating the bauxite industry which was the verge of collapse.

It added that government and the GGMC continue to ensure that the legal and mining agreements are upheld through increased monitoring as well as enhanced dialogue and interaction. Earlier this year a Bauxite Unit was created in the GGMC to provide greater administrative and technical oversight of the bauxite industry.

The ministry says today there is greater optimism about the future of bauxite as the two existing companies have over the past several years invested more than US$300 million and are forecast to invest another US$150 million in the coming period. First Bauxite intends to invest more than US$180 million which will see hundreds of new jobs in Region 10 and elsewhere and other spin-off benefits. Government is also working toward more value-added activities in order to optimise the use of bauxite ore and as such it will continue to engage investors on the establishment of an alumina plant in Guyana.

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