Licence granted for Caribbean’s largest quarry operation in Region 7
…company to revolutionise industry with state-of-the-art technology
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has granted a large-scale Quarry Licence (QL) for the extraction and processing of rock to produce boulders and various sizes of aggregate in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
The licence was issued to Black Jaguar Investment Group Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the El Dorado Trading Group of Companies, on December 1, 2020. It is for operations along the Mazaruni River in the vicinity of Marshall Falls. This QL covers an aerial extent of 7086 acres, making it the single largest QL in existence – not just in Guyana but the Caribbean region.
The combined acreage of the other existing QLs in Guyana is less than the size in the QL obtained by Black Jaguar Investment Group Inc.
In a statement on Sunday, the company said the area covered by this QL hosts deposits of granite and gabbro type rocks.
“These rocks are excellent for use as first-class aggregate in the construction industry. The elevations within 75 per cent of the area enclosed by the QL are greater than 200 feet, the maximum elevations exceed 300 feet. The 300 feet contour covers approximately 40 per cent of the aerial extent of the QL. The elevation at the Mazaruni Riverbank is less than 50 feet. The overburden in this area is usually less than 40 feet. This leaves approximately 200 feet of rock standing above the level of the riverbank which can be easily extracted,” a missive from the company detailed.
It went on to explain that the aerial extent of the 200 feet contour line with the adjustments for the riverbank overburden indicates that there will be approximately 300 million tons of rock available for extraction above the level of the riverbank.
“Unlike the other quarries in operation the company will be engaging international quarry operators to set up multiple sites of extraction and production to maximise the output of the quarry to meet the current and expected demand in the local and regional economy. Other quarries in Guyana have a very limited approach to extraction and production, they operate only a single extraction and processing system no matter the size of the QL and the availability of the resource,” it added.
To this end, Black Jaguar Investment Group Inc said it plans to revolutionise the way the quarry industry operates in Guyana and to solve the chronic shortage of supply that has resulted in a resource-rich country having to import aggregate to meet demand.
“The proposed facility will be developed using state-of-the-art technology to maximise capacity and operational efficiency. The target for initial production is 20,000 tons of aggregate per week. The chronic shortage of aggregate has long been causing Government infrastructure projects to run years beyond the projected deadline for completion. No longer will Government or private construction be delayed due to shortages in the supply of aggregate,” it stated.
This highly efficient, new, large scale operation will allow the company to supply products to the local market in a timely manner and at very competitive prices to support the rapidly expanding development in Guyana, the company assured.
Shortage of stones
For several months, there has been a number of complaints about the shortage of stones and delays in importations.
As such, the PPP/C Government in November had announced the removal of VAT (value-added tax) from the importation of stones in order to revive of the construction industry, which like many others, had been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This order was made by President Dr Irfaan Ali in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 98 (1) of the Value-Added Tax Act.
The Section was amended to say: “…zero-rated for the purpose of Section 17 is importation of stones of a type and quality used in construction and housing, provided that: A Certificate of Caricom Origin is submitted by the importer in accordance with Section 15 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01…”
The removal of the tax applied immediately until June 30, 2021.
Nevertheless, the start-up design of Black Jaguar Investment’s operation will see the production of some 1.9 million tonnes annually. The operation will be run by professional operators in the industry with over 100 years’ experience in the field along with international engineers.
This Quarry Licence is the first to be granted in the last decade. The last QL was issued to Durban Quarries Inc since 2010. (G8)