Manganese plantGuyana Manganese Incorporated (GMI) has committed to employing a predominantly local workforce as it prepares to begin construction in July.This announcement was made on Monday when Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jianchun visited the Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini) mine site to conduct an assessmentNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman examines the manganese mineral with Bosai’s Overseas Department Assistant General Manager, Steven Ma and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jianchun (far right)of the progress that has been made since GMI purchased the area from Reunion Manganese Inc (RMI) of Canada.GMI, a Bosai Mineral Group company, is currently on track to develop the mines, plant and factories to begin extracting the mineral by early 2019. Steven Ma, Assistant General Manager of Bosai’s Overseas Department, briefed Minister Trotman and his team.Ma noted that construction was set to begin in July and some 550 locals from the Region and across Guyana would be employed during this phase as well as the production phase. Currently, GMI is employing 20 locals in the engineering design and survey phase.GMI is investing US$100 million in the first phase of development. During the construction phase, the ore processing plant, washing plant, warehouses and factory will be established. The company is currently procuring equipment, Ma explained.He pointed out that the company was facing logistics challenges in terms of moving the ore from the plant to market. While road and port facilities were identified, GMI, Ma said, is currently mapping and surveying these to design the best solution going forward.Minister Trotman noted that the Government was committed to doing work on the road, but would do so in collaboration with the company, particularly as it related to maintenance. He also committed to discussing the sharing of facilities with bauxite company Rusal, as GMI resolved the logistics challenge.The Minister stressed the importance of mining in Region One to GMI. “We’d like to see a resurgence in this region and so Government is very keen on getting it started,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.Minister Trotman also charged the company to honour its corporate social responsibility and singled out the community hospital for attention in this regard.Chinese Ambassador Cui said he was proud of the example Bosai has set in Linden and charged GMI to have a similar integrated approach in Region One.“Through this project, try to push more to let the people benefit. I am concerned that we can create more jobs for the local community,” Ambassador Cui stated. He also encouraged the company to be a good corporate citizen.GMI purchased four prospecting licences that cover 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 Matthews Ridge is some 26 million tonnes. Ma said to produce the manganese concentrate, the company will have to mine some two million tonnes per year which will see the life of the operation lasting some 12-13 years, if there were no other resources added.