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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1965
Year 1965, Volume IV (1967)

Rynearson, Garn A.
British Guiana,   pp. 179-189 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 179

  179The Mineral Industry 
of British Guiana 
By Garn A. Rynearson 2 
 The most significant developments in the mineral industry of British Guiana
during 1965 again were contributed by the bauxite industry which continued
to dominate all other elements of the mining and quarrying sector. Mine output
of crude bauxite attained a record high of nearly 3 million tons, and the
production of calcined bauxite (abrisive and refractory grades), dried chemical-grade
bauxite, and alumina for the export market also reached record levels. In
addition, the industry invested more than $9 million in expansion projects
(luring 1965 and announced plans for even larger investments during 1966—68.
 Other developments of potential importance to the mineral industry included
granting of oil exploration concessions for onshore and offshore areas to
four oil companies and recognition of some mineralized areas of potential
commercial significance as the result of geophysical, geochemical, and drilling
investigations carried out jointly by the Geological Survey and the United
Nations Development Programme (Special Fund) 
 The newly elected coalition Government initiated a number of programs and
policies that could have significant effect on developments in the mineral
industry. During the year it attained a measure of political and economic
stability and undertook programs to improve transportation and communications.
To prepare for independence in 1966, the Government enlisted the services
of an international team to draw up a seven year development program (1966—72).
The plan anticipates the expenditure of approximately $177 million on development
projects (luring 1966—72, and it was esti 
mated that about $201 million would have to be raised during the period to
finance the plan and to support consequential current expenditures and debt
charges. 
 To assure a substantial increase in national income, the development program
places first priority on diversification of domestic output and points out
that the most likely prospects for new industries are (a) import substitution
(mainly foodstuffs, textiles, footwear); (b) raising of beef for export;
(c) growing bananas for export; (d) production of aluminum metal, which will
require extensive feasibility surveys and the eventual expenditure of large
sums of capital for the development of hydroelectric facilities to provide
adequate sources of cheap electric power; and (e) expansion of the bauxite
industry as well as discovery and exploitation of other possible mineral
resources such as oil, gas, gold, molybdenum, iron ore, columbite-tan talite,
and possibly copper. 
 The diversification-of-output aspect of the plan was pursued vigorously
during 1965 by the Industrial Development Corp., 
 1 Although British Guiana did not become the independent nation of Guyana
until May 26, 1966, the new name and corresponding adjective (Guyanese) came
into general and at least partly official use during 1965. For example, in
preparation for independence, a new Central Bank of Guyana was established,
the Govern. ment established the Guyana Development Corp., and the Guyana
dollar was issued to replace the British West Indies dollar, at par value,
as the new monetary unit. Therefore, for standardization, Guyana has been
used throughout this chapter wherever use of British Guiana was not required
for technical reasons. 
 2 Physical scientist, Division of International Activities. 
 Where necessary, values have been converted from British West Indies dollars
(BWI$) or Guyana dollars (Gt~) to U.S. dollars at the rate of BWI$l.OO and
G$i.OO both equal US$0.58. 


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