Cover Image
close this bookEnvironmental Appraisal of a Proposed Aragonite Mining Operation and Other Proposed Activities at West Cacois Island - Rreport to the Government of the Turks and Cacois Islands, British West Indies (LRDC/NRI, 1985, 76 pages)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSummary
View the documentIntroduction and acknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsPart 1 - Previous reports
Open this folder and view contentsPart 2 - Ecological appraisal and the effects of aragonite development
Open this folder and view contentsPart 3 - Guidelines for mitigation of the effects of aragonite development
Open this folder and view contentsPart 4 - Monitoring needs of the aragonite project
Open this folder and view contentsPart 5 - Environmental recovery during and after aragonite mining
Open this folder and view contentsPart 6 - Other proposed activities and long-term development of West Caicos
View the documentReferences
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes


The proposed aragonite mining project on West Caicos will inevitably cause environmental deterioration. In our view, subject to the conditions identified in this report, this deterioration will be:

Limited, in terms of the nature and area of species and habitats, within the Turks and Caicos group, that will deteriorate during the life of the mining project.

Acceptable, in terms of the balance between the perceived economic benefits to the Turks and Caicos Islands of the mining project and the extent and period of loss of renewable natural resources (some of which should recover following the end of mining provided that general background environmental conditions in the Turks and Caicos Islands remain good).

A set of conditions is identified in this report that alms to minimise environmental deterioration in the vicinity of the mining operations and to avoid any deterioration outside an identified area. If these conditions cannot be met then additional deterioration may be expected.

We recommend that consideration should be given to requiring the Continental Mining and Dredging Company to re-Instate the site on cessation of their activities, and that a guarantee or bond should be provided to ensure that this is done.

Three other proposed developments on West Caicos and its environs are reviewed in this report.

Ship-to-ship oil transfers in the channel west of the Caicos Bank should not create environmental hazards or conflict with the aragonite project, provided a proper ship movements plan is set up and followed.

A Voice of America broadcasting relay station to be set up at the south end of West Caicos should cause no unacceptable environmental loss or degradation.

The proposed dumping of sewage from the east coast of the United States of America on a 1000 acre (400 ha) site on West Caicos could cause serious degradation of the marine environment in its neighbourhood. This proposal should be given no further consideration until full details are available of the composition of the material and the proposals for its safe storage on the Island.

The latter proposal and any other future developments will require separate assessment of their environmental implications after detailed proposals have been submitted.

The team wishes to stress that the loss of renewable natural resources for perceived economic gain should usually be considered within the framework of a comprehensive zoning and development plan which allows for a variety of identified activities and objectives that are known to be necessary for the long term physical, mental, and economic health of any community. No such plan exists at this time, and this fact is among the reasons why we have recommended the creation of terrestrial and marine reserves in the areas outside the leasehold requirements of the immediate projects.

TEXT MAP 1 - The Caicos Bank

Prepared by Land Resources Development Centre 1985

TEXT MAP 3 - West Caicos: showing approximate location of dredging area and proposed reserves

Prepared by Land Resources Development Centre 1985