US$10M Quarry project to transform, unlock opportunities for Region Seven

The US$10 million EKAA HRIM Quarry project which was commissioned on Saturday by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali is set to significantly transform the economy of and unlock opportunities for the residents of Batavia, Region Seven.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and others during a tour of the quarry project

The project will be completed in two phases for a total cost of about US$20 million and is being executed by an Indian company, EKAA HRIM Earth Resource Management Inc.

According to the president, the investment will significantly transform the village’s economy, its people, and their means of subsistence. 

“And part of what we are doing is working on a national investment portfolio that not only seeks to create wealth at the national level, but seeks to advance opportunities at the community and regional levels,” the head of state noted.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali during remarks

The company currently employs over 15 persons and is engaged in numerous additional corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives there.

The government remains keen that the initiative will open up new chances for the 600 residents of the community.

The corporation was tasked by President Ali to hire and train more people from the community, particularly operators for the heavy-duty equipment.

“One of the things that you will find in our hinterland communities is very raw and natural talent. What we have to do now is to modify that raw talent with the type of certification and safety that come with it…So that they can be seamlessly integrated into your operations and that is what we want,” he added.

As the government is intensifying mechanisms for Guyanese to be skilled, Dr Ali informed Toshao of Batavia, Oren Williams to provide a list with the names of young people who want to be trained in electrical engineering and other technical skills.

Dr Ali commended the corporation for its investment and pointed out that infrastructure construction in Guyana is only getting started and that investments like this will strengthen the local economy and encourage the necessary kind of developmental assistance.

President Ali stated that investments like these in the quarry sector open up chances in logistics and transportation as well as jobs for mechanics, engineers, and heavy-duty equipment operators.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and other officials during a tour of the quarry project

The government intends to strengthen the relationship between the infrastructure and quarrying industries. 

“If you look at the growth in the construction sector in the first half of this year, which is more than 40 per cent, and if you look at the growth in the quarrying sector…you would see that growth mirrored in the construction and quarry sectors. There is a very strong correlation between quarrying and the type of infrastructure that we have to build out,” Dr Ali explained.

In order to lease the lands for mining operations, the private firm signed two contracts with the Amerindian community earlier this year.

The contracts, which are valid for 15 years and have the option of being renewed after that time, call for the use of about 1,098 acres of land.

A section of the quarry project at Batavia, Region Seven

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will be in charge of supervision to guarantee openness and responsibility.

The toshao was also charged by the president to compile a list of locals with the necessary credentials who are interested in receiving training as nurses and soldiers.