Just over 324,000 acres of land in Region Seven have been set aside for the exploration for rare earth metals, such as Lithium and Nickel.
An order, signed by the Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and published on February 24th, 2018 in the Official Gazette, reserves the tracts, except all lands lawfully held or occupied, for prospecting operations by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC). The reservation is “without prejudice” to the power of the Minister to permit any person to carry on prospecting operations for the benefit, wholly or partly, of the GGMC.
The minister’s order allows GGMC to conduct geological and geophysical survey for Lithium, Tantalum, Niobium, Rare Earth Elements, Gemstones, Chromium, Nickel and Cobalt.
The land is identified as a tract of state land, enclosing an area of approximately 324,300 acres, located in the Cuyuni Mining District No. 4, as shown on Terra Surveys Topographic Map 1 8NE, at scale 1:50,000, with reference point ‘X’ located at the confluence of the Waini River and the Arawapai River.
Lithium is a key component in the manufacture of batteries used to power everyday portable and rechargeable consumer electronics such as cellphones.
Rising demand for these products, as well as the increase in demand for electric cars, is expected to see the global lithium-ion market reaching US$93.1 billion by 2025. Currently, the largest source of Lithium is South America, with Chile being reported as world’s top exporter of the mineral.