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GOB Says Vulcan Material Company Will Have to Go Through a Process before Commencing Mining

Prime Minister John Briceno says while the Government is open to investors coming into Belize, there is a process that needs to be followed before any work can commence. Vulcan Materials Company’s representatives visited Gales Point Manatee Village this past weekend to consult with the villagers about their plans to develop a quarry in the White Ridge Farm in the Stann Creek District. However, the villagers as well as the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Sustainable Development have rejected these proposals citing that they would be detrimental to the environment. PM Briceno explains that investors hold the right to purchase land in Belize, however, it does not mean they will get the go-ahead to carry out projects that are deemed unlawful or detrimental to the environment. 

John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Certainly, myself as a former Minister of the Environment, I would not. I don’t think it’s something I would take lightly or kindly to see that these beautiful mountains would just be destroyed but we cannot stop any company that wants to come and to invest in Belize. We need to hear them out. You know we just can’t say well don’t come. We want them to come but they have to follow our laws and especially our environmental laws because we are known as an eco friendly country and as such, we’re going to do everything possible to protect that reputation that we have world wide. At the end of the day, it will have to come to Cabinet. They would have to make certain applications. He has said that he will not support it. I am saying that I support the protection of the environment. The area representative has said that she would not support it. But I can’t give a definitive as to say well I because it has not come to Cabinet. I believe that the Cabinet will not support it.”