I refer to an article in the Stabroek News of March 8 captioned ‘Bauxite company flunks dust collector deadline again,’ and as Company Secretary I am really concerned over what is termed our history of environmental non-compliance, as that is far from the truth. The company wishes to be positive and present the good news which is that we will complete the Dust Collector System on the dates given.
When Cambior took over Linmine, Mr Louis P Gignac, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cambior, had earlier stated “that no reputable Mining Company responsible to shareholders and international banks for its financing can ignore environmental concerns.” Further he stated that he and all of his directors and management “cared as much about protecting and preserving our environment as any ‘green group’ since we all have families and children who need to live in a world with clean air and water.” We are concerned and we care.
Bosai took over the operations of Omai Bauxite Mining Inc from Cambior. We are seeking through the construction of a massive Dust Collector System, which is costing the company over US$8 million as the photograph of the system would show, to establish that system. That was carried in the Stabroek News of January 14, 2012 and is truly impressive.
The company unequivocally apologizes to the community for not reaching its deadline for completion. We do not wish to go over that history as it is painful for the company and we are embarrassed. We would also like to apologise to the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to complete the project on time as well as complete the Environmental Agreement with the EPA. This will be done.
We are at a stage where we can predict with confidence that the first Dust Collector for Kiln 14 will be completed by the end of June 2012 and the second for Kiln 13 will be completed by October 2012.
The company employs over 600 employees and we are hoping to expand this number significantly through the construction of a third kiln and the development of two new products – Mullites and Proppants which are optimizing our production.
We held a meeting with the EPA on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, where the Executive Director of the EPA, Dr I Ramdass and their Attorney-at-Law, Ms Jaya Manickchand, were very blunt and forthright and insisted that we finalise the agreement and bring the company into environmental compliance with their requirements.
The company undertakes to honour that commitment and will work to ensure that it is a respected and good corporate citizen.
Bosai has inherited the environmental conditions and through an enlightened approach would seek to remedy them all and be proactive. We hope that the public at Linden and the general population in Guyana will give us the opportunity to prove that we can rise to the challenge and overcome the concerns over the proposed expansion of our operations. We pledge to work with the community to do so.
Norman G McLean