BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 8, 2022
In a Cabinet brief released this morning, the government of Belize reaffirmed its stance in opposition to any mining activity in the Gales Point Manatee area. The Cabinet’s policy has been reflected in various comments made by a number of government ministers who have openly rejected the advances of the US-based construction aggregates company, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Cordel Hyde, who is the Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining, and the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler.
The Cabinet brief states, “no surface mining (strip, open put, mountain top) or any other type of mining activity in the Gales Point Manatee area shall be permitted having regard to the surrounding communities’ concerns and given the threats and damages it may cause to the environment.”
Those who oppose the establishment of mining operations by Vulcan Material Company have cited the risk posed to our watershed, and the damage that could be caused to the biodiversity in the area. In Mexico, the company is said to have caused irreparable damage, with the impacts of its mining operation being labeled an “ecological catastrophe” by the Mexican president.
The company has since brought lawsuits against the Mexican government after two of its mines were shut down. In Belize, the company has been operating under the name “The White Ridge Project”, and its reps have been in the Gales Point community for at least a year, by all accounts, trying to garner support from its residents – the majority of whom have openly rejected the prospect because of the obvious environmental risk it poses to the ecological system used every day as a part of the villagers’ lives.