Residents of Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini) are excited at the economic prospects that the reviving of the manganese project will bring but said they want to meet with the major players; a request Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley said can be facilitated.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) yesterday said that the Chairman was part of a delegation headed by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan which visited several communities in the region. On Saturday, DPI said that Bulkan met with residents of the village.
One of the concerns raised was their lack of knowledge about the project and they requested that officials of the Guyana Manganese Incorporated (GMI) meet with them. Bosai, the Chinese bauxite company operating at Linden is the new owner of the mining project.
The Regional Chairman told residents that the council had recently met with the company and had requested a proposal from it on how the regional democratic council can lend its support.
“My concern as Regional Chairman is not to say yes when a company has come into the region that we want them to work and provide jobs; but it must be something that is sustainable and the people must not be shortchanged.”
The Regional Chairman added “So, we are going to hold them to their words, at the end of the day, the people are the priority and they must benefit”.
Last Monday, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Cui Jianchun, visited the site to assess the progress that has been made since Guyanese Manganese Incorporated purchased the area from Reunion Manganese Incorporated (RMI) of Canada.
Trotman charged the company to honour its corporate social responsibility and singled out the community hospital for attention in this regard.
When the construction of the plant commences in July later this year, some 550 Guyanese are expected to be employ-ed. Extraction of the manganese is expected to begin in early 2019.