The bauxite centenary committee on Wednesday held its symposium at the Linmine constabulary hall under the theme “Is bauxite going to be an economic pillar for Guyana for the next century?”
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman in reflecting on the theme said that it was apt and timely, as the Bauxite sector has been and will continue to be instrumental in the development of Guyana’s economy.
In alluding to the hundreds of years of bauxite reserves left in the region, Trotman noted that the calculation is positive for the residents of Region Ten, as well as Guyana as a whole.
He added that there has been an increase in bauxite production by some thirty eight thousand tonnes as of September 30th 2016 in comparison to the same period last year.
For 2016 the current total college mined is 1,138,182 tonnes, Trotman said.
“However for us to continue to benefit from the industry we must reflect on its successes and failures and implement measures to transform the industry by utilizing new technology, thus increasing production figures and value added products.”
The Minister reflected on the genesis of bauxite mining in 1916, and its evolution over the years. He alluded too, to the period when bauxite was much in demand, during World War Two, and expressed optimism that those days of demand would return, with the industry’s ability to respond to such a demand.
Trotman detailed that today, the industry has transitioned from being nationalized to becoming completely privatized.
“Our bauxite industry has benefitted from more than US$180 million of capital investments for the period 2005 to 2014.
Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc has investments of US$92 million while Bosai Minerals has investments of US$88 million.
“Meanwhile First Bauxite Operation, a Canadian company, has been granted a fifty-year land lease through its local subsidiary Guyana Industrial Minerals Inc, and they have completed and submitted a technical report and feasibility study for the Bonasika project, which we are still considering.”
Those engaged in the panel discussions were Mr. Newell Dennison, acting commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission; Dr. Samuel Hinds, former Prime Minister; Mr. Sylvester Carmichael former marketing manager of BIDCO; Major General (retired) Norman Mc Lean; Company Secretary Victor Wright, board member of the SET foundation, and member of the bauxite century committee Cassey Singh, a RUSAL representative.
Among those attending the event were Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Mayor Carwyn Holland, as well as secondary school students and teachers.
After the panelists had made their presentations on whether or not the theme could be supported, the floor was open to members of the audience for questions and suggestions.
Among those asking questions and offering suggestions were trade unionist Lincoln Lewis, former bauxite employees Steve Bovell and Charles Sampson, and Rusal employee Emmanuel Barkoi.
Bauxite centennial activities continued yesterday with the unveiling of four centennial stamps by the Guyana Post Office Corporation at Three Friends Mines, where bauxite was first mined.
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