Training for Batavia residents as US$10M Quarry opens


The economic growth and development of Batavia, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) is expected to be significantly increased with the commissioning of a US$10 million Quarry project on Saturday.

The massive project is being executed by EKAA HRIM Earth Resource Management Inc, an Indian company.

During the ceremony, Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali committed that the government will train the residents of the community to harness the skills required for jobs that will now be available there.

He called on Oren Williams, the Toshao of Batavia, to make a list bearing the names of young people who want to be trained in electrical engineering and other technical skills.

President DR Irfaan Ali during a tour of the EKAA Quarrying project (Photo: Office of the President/ September 9, 2023)

“The government will facilitate the training of those young people that can serve in this facility here,” the President said.

He added that “One of the things you will find in Amerindian communities is very raw natural talent. They are very raw talented persons [and] what we have to do now is modify that raw talent with the type of certification and safety and all of this that comes with it so that they can be seamlessly integrated into your operation.”

He hailed the company for its investment, noting that infrastructure works in Guyana is only now beginning and investments like these will boost the economy and promote the type of developmental support needed.

The private company signed two contracts with the indigenous community earlier this year for the lands to be leased for mining activities.

The ribbon cutting to commission the company at Batavia, Region Seven (Photo: Office of the President/ September 9, 2023)

In total, the project will cost some US$20M and will be done in two phases.

Some 1,098 acres of land will be utilised under the contracts that are valid for 15 years and can be extended after that. The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will have oversight to ensure there is transparency and accountability.

The government is banking on the fact that this project will stimulate other opportunities for the village and its 600 residents. Already, the President said this paves the way for opportunities in transport and logistics, and creates jobs for boat captains, mechanics, engineers, heavy-duty machine operators.

The company will help boost the economy through mining and infrastructural development activities in Region Seven (Photo: Office of the President/ September 9, 2023)

Chairman of EKAA, Saju Bhaskar said the company is keen on responding to the government’s aim of forging a prosperous nation.

He said the company prioritises the use of responsible mining practices as it helps to develop the community while safeguarding the environment.

“As part of our sustainable planning initiative, we are planning to power the entire mining area with solar power which will be established here in the near future, it’s also in line with the Low Carbon Development Strategy of the country.

“This quarry will bring numerous opportunities, from employment to regional infrastructure.

We have undertaken this venture with the commitment to safeguard high standards and maintain resources,” Bhaskar said.

Meanwhile, the Toshao said that the company has already embarked on social support projects for the village and these include forming a health camp, contributing to the annual Amerindian heritage sports and sponsoring delegates for the Amerindian Heritage pageant.

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