Jun 20, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – BK Quarries has filed a lawsuit against the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over a decision to fully permit and issue four quarrying licences to Hadi’s World Inc., a local company operating in the field. The lawsuit also lists Hadi’s World as a respondent in the matter.
Among other things, the lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent Hadi’s World from occupying or taking any steps to develop the 16,500 acres of land recently awarded to the company by the GGMC as four quarrying licences.
According to release from BK Quarries, GGMC and the EPA took the decision to fully permit and issue four quarrying licences to Hadi’s World, which is owned by Mr. Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed, despite several objections raised by the company.
The lawsuit was filed just one day after the GGMC handed 16,502 acres of land to Hadi’s World for quarrying operations. The lawsuit, which is filed by attorney, Siand Dhurjon, explains that the Notices of Intention to grant quarry licences were published in the Official Gazette without the approval of the Board of the GGMC as is required under law.
The lawsuit also alleges that the EPA illegally waived the requirement for Hadi’s World Inc. to have to perform an assessment of the environmental impact of the four quarrying operations over 16,500 acres of land for the reason that the quarry operations ‘would not significantly impact the environment’.
It states that the EPA arrived at this decision in spite of the understanding that the quarry operations of Hadi’s World would require the clearing of over a thousand acres of vegetation and the use of explosives to destroy the face of the land.
The document alleges too that the decision to award a company, which does not own a single crusher, 16,502 acres of land for quarrying was made although BK Quarries had applied for a quarry licence since August 16, 2018 for a portion of the same area.
Further, it said that BK Quarries Inc. was issued a prospecting licence for the said portion since 2014, a licence, which remains enforced up to today. BK has been carrying out exploration and developmental works on the prospecting licence since 2014.
The prospecting licence is for an area located on the left bank of the Mazaruni River in the vicinity of Itaballi and covers 9,364 acres. The purpose of the prospecting licence is for the conduct of exploration and developmental activities, while the quarry licence is for the extraction of rock and production of aggregate.
As such, the lawsuit alleges that the Board of the GGMC was “biased in favour of Hadi’s World Inc.’s applications.”
Among the orders applied for by Dhurjon on behalf of BK Quarries Inc. are Orders of Certiorari to quash the decisions of the GGMC dated 15th June, 2021 to grant the four quarry licences to Hadi’s World Inc. over four areas of 3,713 acres, 5,152 acres, 3,220 acres and 4,417 acres respectively, on the grounds that the decisions are against the legitimate expectation of the applicant, in breach of GGMC’s statutory duty, in breach of natural justice, arbitrary, ultra vires, unreasonable, irrational, and unfair, an abuse of power, whimsical, capricious, against their own policy and without any legal foundation or authority.
Further, the applicant seeks an injunction to forbid and restrain Hadi’s World Inc., their agents and servants from taking any steps in furtherance of the quarrying activities or occupation on the lands held under the quarry licences granted on 15th June, 2021 covering the four designated areas; an Order of Certiorari to quash the decisions of the EPA made 21st March, 2021 and 16th April, 2021 and upheld by the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB) made 14th June, 2021 to award four environmental authorisations to Hadi’s World Inc. in respect of quarrying operations over the four said areas encompassing about 16,502 acres; and an Order of Mandamus to compel the GGMC to take all steps necessary to see to the favourable processing of BK’s application made 16th August, 2018 for a quarry licence over the area of 9,364 acres designated by the GGMC as LM40: B-1000/000/18, upon the Applicant being issued the requisite environmental authorisation by the EPA to conduct quarrying operations on the said area.
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