For the first time in 54 years, Guyana is preparing to export manganese – a hard, brittle, silvery metal, often found in minerals in combination with iron.
This was announced today by Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance Dr Ashni Singh whilst delivering the feature address at the Private Sector Commission’s (PSC) Annual General Meeting hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston.
A manganese operation in Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini) was granted its Environmental Permit and Mining Licence, along with the approval of the Mine Plan.
The project investment is pegged at US$75 million, and the annual production and shipment of manganese ore concentrates is targeted at 500,000 metric tonnes annually.
The Guyana Manganese Incorporated (GMI), a Bosai Mineral Group company, started extracting the mineral early last year.
GMI purchased four prospecting licences that covers an area of 45,729 acres, exploration results, mineral agreement, certain properties and infrastructure from RMI of Canada in November 2016.
The total manganese resource in Matthew’s Ridge is some 26M tonnes.
To produce the manganese concentrate, the company will have to mine some 2M tonnes per year which will see the life of the operation lasting some 12-13 years.
Manganese is used to make clear glass, to desulfurise and deoxidise steel in steel production and to reduce the octane rating in gasoline. It also is used as a black-brown pigment in paint and as filler in dry cell batteries. Its alloys help stiffen the aluminum in soft-drink cans.