Businessman Nazar “Shell” Mohamed says there is nothing cynical about the granting of four quarry licences to his company- Hadi’s World Incorporated by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The businessman’s assertions come days after BK Quarries, in a lawsuit, among other things, accused GGMC’s Commissioner Neil Dennison of unilaterally approving the licences.
During an exclusive interview with BIG Smith News Watch, Mohamed said that in recognizing the need for aggregates in Guyana, he applied for the licences after identifying an area in the Mazaruni River.
He said he was made aware that the owner of BK Quarries Brian Tiwarie had a prospective licence for the same land but it expired long ago.
The businessman pointed out that Tiwarie “didn’t do anything on the land so the land went back to the closed area committee.” As such, he said that his company applied to the GGMC for the land.
“Our application was considered, it went through all the requisite legal channels. EPA granted their permission on June 14 and the licences were issued.”
But before the EPA determined that the operation did not require an Environmental Impact Assessment, Mohamed said that there was a public hearing because Tiwarie had raised objections.
“The Environmental Board after the public hearing told the EPA that they can go ahead and issue the licence. The environmental licence was issued. GGMC prepared the license for the queries and everything was clear as day. There is nothing cynical about this thing; everything was very clear.”
The businessman said that should the licences be revoked it would affect the country which is facing a natural disaster.
“Because of all this rain, rising water… We need stones for sea defence purposes. There is a shortage of stones in the country. Massive development is going on so it will mean a lot to us because we have already invested in equipment and you know to set up a query is a lot of money.”
Mohamed disclosed that he has already invested close to US$5M on equipment.
BK Quarries is seeking an injunction to prevent Hadi’s World from occupying or taking any steps to develop 16,500 acres of land recently awarded to it by the GGMC as four quarrying licences.