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US Embassy Writes Minister of Natural Resources Over Vulcan Materials Company

Vulcan Materials Company insists it wants to realize its plan to develop a quarry in the White Ridge Farm in the Stann Creek District. Today Love News confirmed with Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining, Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde that the US Embassy here in Belize wrote to him last week, asking that he meet with representatives of Vulcan. DPM Hyde did not attend the meeting but his CEO, Nelda Tulcey and the Mining Director did. As we’ve been reporting, Vulcan wants to carry out its White Ridge Farm project in the hills near Gales Point Manatee Village but villagers have come out in opposition. So have Cabinet ministers and environmental specialists who have pointed out that Vulcan’s project will cause irreversible damage to the environment. But the company is not giving up. It wrote to the villagers, telling them that the project is viable and will be beneficial. In an August 24th letter, Vulcan tells villagers that (Quote) “this week we will begin work that will enable additional studies and fulfil our commitment to being responsible landlords and neighbours. That means that starting this week there will be jobs for men and women in the Gales Point Manatee community.” Today, DPM Hyde explained that Vulcan’s exploratory license expires in a few months. 

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum & Mining: “That license or that exploration permit will expire in November. I don’t think that a lot is going on there. It’s really collecting data, exploratory stuff, trying to determine whether it is feasible to do mining there. I think that is the intent of an exploratory license. It is very clear that they have discovered that it’s feasible, commercially feasible to do mining there since they refuse to take a very clear and emphatic no as the final answer. So I think all efforts where they are concerned is about trying to change people’s minds, trying to convince the people of, I’ll be kind and say convince the people of Gales Point Manatee that this is a good thing for them when everybody, all right thinking people know, it’s a bad thing for the people of Gales Point Manatee and a bad thing for the country of Belize.”