Feb 21, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Two local companies, Royal Builders Inc. and Queensway, are set to invest over $800 million into two proposed quarry projects to cater for Guyana’s demand for aggregate, considering the current limitations of supply and the anticipated increase in demand from the emerging oil and gas sector.
According to the public notice published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the proposed projects were screened to assess the potential environmental impacts.
The EPA determined that the projects will not significantly affect the environment or human health, and were exempted from the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Agency nonetheless urged persons who feel that they may be affected, to lodge appeals of the decision to its Environmental Assessment Board.
According to project documents lodged with the EPA, the company is proposing to develop a stone (granite/gneiss) quarry within the Cuyuni Mining District, south of Batavia. The project will consist of a number of heavy-duty equipment along with a crushing plant and support equipment.
It is expected that approximately 300,000 tons of material will be mined and produced annually from the Flatrock Quarry over a mine life of six years unless additional reserves are discovered. Quarrying operations are anticipated to commence at the end of Second Quarter of 2021, once all regulatory approvals are obtained.
According to Queensway, the capital investment of the project is approximately $180 million, however, though the project’s capital investment totals $180 million, this amount will be deployed over the project’s estimated life of six years with an estimated annual turnover of $65 million.
The production objective for the quarry is to produce rip-rap and aggregates for the local market. Over the six-year period, 60% of the quarrying material will be aggregates with 40% rip-rap. Initial production will focus on 2.8/6 and 6.3/10 Category GC aggregates for local construction and road building industry.
The development stages of the project, Queensway detailed, will consist of the exploration phase, which will include drilling boreholes for the geotechnical and hydro-geological investigations and conducting topographic and environmental surveys of the project area.
It will also include a construction phase, which will include land clearing, over burden stripping and stockpiling, construction of mine site access roads, on-loading facility, office and camp facilities and the procurement of the processing/crushing facility and an operation phase, which will include granite/gneiss rock excavation ripping and blasting, crushing, aggregate screening, on-loading and tug and barge transport to markets.
While the EPA did not a require a EIA be conducted for this project, the company will still be going ahead to have one completed to address the potential environmental and social risks associated with the project.
Details of the environmental mitigation measures to be employed at the quarry will be provided in the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to be commissioned by the Company. The EMP will address potential impacts of the design, construction, operation and closure phases of the quarry.
Royal Builders’ project
According to Royal Builders, the Mazaruni New Quarry project site is located on the left bank of the Mazaruni River, approximately 115 kilometers from Georgetown. It said that the proposed project site encompasses approximately 3,888 acres of land.
This covers an unnamed, large topographic high that is over 200 feet in elevation and occupies most of the 3 aerial extent of the proposed QL.
Royal Builders Inc. stated that the company would be investing and expending more than US$3 million ($630,000,000) in the development and commissioning of this new quarry operation.
That investment will be made to meet the growing demand for aggregate domestically, as the economy continues to be boosted by increasing construction, infrastructure and sea defence works, with further expansion anticipated with the increasing oil production related activities.
The initial output of this quarry is expected to be at least 2,000 tons per week of aggregate (½”, ¾”,⅞”).
The company outlined also that assuming an annual crude ore supply of 134,400 tons to satisfy a minimum annual out-loading of 131,040 tons for the first three (3) years of operation from the fourth year, production will be boosted by 50% by works done in the third year to increase capacity and productivity.
The company envisaged that this quarry would have a life of at least 11 years based on the reasonably estimated reserves. The expected total reserves in the proposed QL subsequent to drilling verification should see at least 10 years added to the life of the quarry for a total of at least 21 years.
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