June 19 ,2021
BK Quarries Inc has moved to the High Court to seek an injunction against what it says is a Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) decision to award 16,502 acres of land in the Mazaruni Mining District to Hadi’s World Inc. for quarrying operations.
Through the lawsuit, which also names GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Hadi’s World as respondents, BK wants the company to be prevented from occupying or taking steps to develop the land in question. It contends that the GGMC seeks to award land for four quarrying licences issued to Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed’s Hadi’s World, despite its many objections.
Through its attorney, Siand Dhurjon, BK argues that the Notices of Intention to Grant Quarry Licences had been published in the Official Gazette without the approval of the Board of Directors of the GGMC as is required by law.
BK is also contending that in fact the EPA illegally waived the requirement for Hadi’s World to perform an assessment of the environmental impact of the four quarrying operations, advancing that they “would not significantly impact the environment.”
BK complains that the decision to award the lands for quarrying to a company—Hadi’s— which according to it does not own a single crusher, was made even though BK Quarries had applied for a Quarry Licence for a portion of the same area since August of 2018.
BK (the Applicant) deposed in its filing that it had been issued a prospecting licence, which is still valid, for the said portion since 2014, while noting that it has been carrying out exploration and developmental works there ever since.
The licence, it said, is for an area located on the left bank of the Mazaruni River in the vicinity of Itaballi, covering some 9,364 acres, for the purpose of conducting exploration and developmental activities for the extraction of rock and production of aggregate.
BK is asking the court to grant orders of certiorari quashing GGMC’s decision to give the four licences to Hadi’s World Inc.
The Applicant also wants an order prohibiting the Commissioner and all agents from taking any steps in furtherance of the quarrying.
Following reports that Mohamed had been granted four quarrying licences for development, BK International registered its objection, saying that the areas granted overlap acre-age it has already applied for and prospected on.
“BK Quarries Inc. is challenging the decision by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) over what appears to be a decision to grant four quarry licences to Hadi’s World Inc. of Lot 29 Lombard Street, Georgetown. Hadi’s World Inc. is owned by local businessman Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed,” the company had said in a statement back in March.
BK’s arguments had been that Hadi’s World Inc’s application was only made in December of 2020, some two years after BK had already prospected the area and had applied to have the prospecting licence converted to a quarry licence.
“The company had legitimate expectations that its application of 2018 would have been favourably considered and has cooperated with the GGMC in every way to satisfy the requirements of the commission. It is therefore asking GGMC to withdraw the Notice of Intention to grant the licences to Hadi’s World Inc. and complete the processing and issuance of its 2018 application,” BK Quarries said.