World’s largest explosives company, Orica, in partnership with GGMC/MNR conducts blasting training program


The world’s largest explosive company, Orica Mining Services, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, is conducting an intensive two-day blaster training summit held at the Marriott Hotel.

Orica is a global explosives provider headquartered in Australia. Orica has over 15,000 employees worldwide with an annual revenue US$5 Billion. Fielding a high-level 11-member team consisting of experienced mining engineers and senior management personnel who travelled from Chile, Colombia and Panama held the blasting “Innovation Summit 2023”, showcasing current blasting techniques and technology.

Over 125 persons attended, including representatives and owners of all operating quarries, representatives of various gold mines, representatives of the gold and diamond miners association,  and blasters and field personnel from throughout Guyana.

The summit was supported by the Guyana Mining School, the GGMC, the Police and the Army, all of which sent representatives from the various regions. Some of the attending officials included the Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, GGMC Commissioner Mr. Newell Dennison, and Mr. Vaughn Felix, administrator of the Mining School.

Officials from Orica Mining Services engages Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat

Mr. Brian Gillespie, Orica’s Group Executive and President of Latin America, expressed Orica’s gratitude for its partnership with Guyana and its representative Mr. Devindra Kissoon, announcing that Orica intends to immediately expand its operations in Guyana with a managed explosives warehouse facility.

He explained that Orica currently provides explosives to Guyana through a sophisticated supply chain from Orica’s factories in the USA, Peru, Columbia, Mexico and Brazil, to ensure that regardless of world market conditions, all end users get their product. He expressed that even when the supply of raw materials was complicated by Russian sanctions, Orica ensured that none of its customer’s mining operations were impacted, quickly using its expansive resources to obtain raw materials worldwide.

He announced that Orica is actively considering the imminent installation of an explosives plant in Guyana, which, if installed, would serve not only Guyana, but also neighboring Caribbean countries.

Mr. Mark De Castro, Orica Colombia and Caribbean’s General Manager, explained that the summit was part of Orica’s aggressive initiative to provide all existing operations and quarry startups with continuous technical support and training needed to optimise production and reduce costs in order to supply aggregate to the construction sector.

Orica was hosted by Prominent attorney Devindra Kissoon, who highlighted that in over 40 years of providing services to Guyana there has been no explosives safety incident.

Officials of Orica Mining Services

The keynote address was given by the Honourable Minister of Vickram Bharrat who expressed great appreciation for Orica’s investment in Guyana’s quarrying and gold mining sector.  He explained that Orica’s initiative was key to support Government’s infrastructure projects, and was demonstrative of the Government’s commitment in ensuring that oil and gas was not the only focus, but that all sectors in Guyana were developed.

He explained that mining provided extensive jobs to thousands of Guyanese, something which the Government was keen on expanding. Separately, Minister Bharrat noted that the 40 year relationship between the Kissoon family and Orica was a true model of how local content ought to work.

There was a general feeling of excitement by participants who expressed a keen interest in the subject area, and complemented the hosting parties for the event. Orica has provided services in Guyana from the 1990’s, first to Guymine and then to Omai Gold Mines, and has since continuously supplied explosives to support Guyana’s mining industry, enjoying a strong partnership with Guyana over the last half century. The course ends today.

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