Bauxite is one of the major exports of Guyana. It is a main ore of aluminum and is composed primarily of hydrous aluminum oxide minerals, including boehmite, diasporeand gibbsite, and impurities such as iron oxide, quartz, titania and clay minerals.The first published report of bauxite, by Sir John Harrison, appeared in the Official Gazatte of June 16, 1910.Deposits of bauxite occur in an arcuate belt along the southern margin of the Coastal Plain of Guyana. The bauxite was formed from the underlying Precambrian bedrock during a mid-Tertiary weatheringepisode.OverviewThe mining of bauxite began in 1917 at Three Friends Mine south of Mackenzie (now Linden) and later at Ituni (now defunct) and at Kwakwani. Foreign companies controlled the bauxite industryuntil the early part of the 1970s when the Government nationalized the companies.The State-owned bauxite companies did not perform as expected and lost a significant proportion of their former marketshares, in part, because of lower than expected prices for bauxite, declining production and poor fiscal performance.The current mining operations are at the East Montgomery mine [operated by Linmine]on the east bank of the Demerara River, south of Linden, at Aroaima [operated by Aroaima Mining Company] on the west bank of the Berbice River and at Kwakwani [operated by Bermine] on the east bank ofthe Berbice River. History of Bauxite Industry |
1914 | Demerara Bauxite Company, Limited (DEMBA), owned by Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), secured leases around the Mackenzie area wherebauxite deposits were identified. |
1917 | DEMBA commenced mining of bauxite at Three Friends mine and later at Akyma mine (now known as Maria Elizabeth) south of Mackenzie. |
1929 | The AluminumCompany of Canada (Alcan) took over control of DEMBA. |
1930 - 40 | A drilling programme was undertaken by DEMBA in the Ituni area south of Mackenzie. |
1937 - 44 | A small number of bauxite...