Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves will lead a delegation, which will include media practitioners to the proposed Richmond quarry today, Friday March 11 as government moves ahead with the project which will be operated by the St Lucia firm, Rayneau Quarrying.
Gonsalves said on NBC Radio on Wednesday March 9, that his planned media visit is to answer frequently asked questions about the project.
He made reference to a full Environment Impact Assessment Study done in 2008 by environmental consultant, Dr Reynold Murray for the firm Carib Sand and Stone, from the French West Indies.
And he explained that the St Lucia company is only interested in developing a hard rock quarry and not in interfering with the river beds.
The prime minister further said that before the project began, an Environment Management plan and a Quarry Management Plan were done as required and submitted to Cabinet; approval for the project was given by the Physical Planning and Development Board on January 20, 2022.
Gonsalves also spoke of plans to construct a pier on the south side of the Richmond River mouth as part of the project and gave the assurance that with the construction of the pier, “there will be no dredging or piling.”
He explained that the pier will be constructed with 3 to 5 tonne boulders and will extend beyond Crevalle Rock.
He said “they” will ensure that there are spaces between the boulders so that marine life would not be adversely affected.
Addressing persons who want a halt to the quarry project, the prime minister said doing so would make it more difficult for government to carry out its capital projects.
He assured that mitigation measures will be put in place to guard against adverse happenings.
Additionally, the Prime Minister explained that the government would be able to purchase quarry materials at an 8 per cent concessionary rate.
Government also expects to earn about $50 million over the 30 year lease of 5.8 acres of state lands.
He said it is expected that 25 tonnes of stones will be mined from the quarry over the life of the lease. Further that the financial agreement between the government and the quarry operator will come under review in seven years time .