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Belize government does not support US company’s plan to acquire land for mining

The Belize government has effectively rejected a plan by US-based international mining company Vulcan Materials to acquire land.

The company acquires several hundred acres of land off the coast road near Gales Point Manatee in an area called White Ridge Farms.

Sustainable Development Minister Orlando Habet confirmed that the issue was raised during the weekly Cabinet meeting and that senior officials in the John Briceño administration made a collective political decision that no surface mining, including in the open, open air or on top of a mountain, will not be permitted. near the village of Gales Point.

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“As you know, that’s where the company, Vulcan, has an interest in acquiring, I don’t know if they acquired, it’s a private agreement with White Ridge Farms to buy certain farms that White Ridge owns in the The manatee area and all the information we got was that they were interested in mining in that area,” Habet said, speaking on News 5 television.

“As you know, we have heard voices saying that this is not a good type of investment to make, especially in terms of the ecosystems in this area. We have villagers, the community of Gales Point Manatee who But to be fair, our team, as well as, I think, the minerals unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources met with the people of Vulcan to listen to them, but while we were having our cabinet meeting, the Cabinet has decided as the executive arm of government that they will not undertake any type of development related to any type of mining at this time,” he added.

Habet said Cabinet’s decision “was really that he would not support any project development at Gales Point Manatee that involved any type of mining, given the extremely sensitive nature of the area.

“Of course, from my ministry, we look at biodiversity and all the benefits of the watershed, certainly this immense ecological value and the ecological systems that surround the whole region. So it was not prudent for us to engage in this type of development,” he told viewers.

Last month, Kenrick Williams, chief executive of the Department of Sustainable Development, predicted that the government would not support the initiatives of Vulcan Materials Company, the largest US producer of construction aggregates, mainly crushed stone, sand and gravel, and a major producer of other construction materials, including asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.

The company serves markets in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Mexico and the Bahamas.

CMC/