|Environmental 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)|
Continental Mining and Dredging Company Ltd. (Continental) submitted a proposal in 1983 to mine aragonite off the north shore of West Caicos Island in the Turks and Caicos Group (see Map 1). The terms of agreement between Continental and the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (the Government) call for an independent report to be made, at Continental's expense, on the environmental impacts of the proposed mining operations. Continental appointed Wapora Inc., a United States firm of environmental consultants, who submitted their report in August 1983. The conclusion of this report was that there should be no serious adverse consequences of the mining project as proposed, and non-specific recommendations were made for mitigating and monitoring the environmental effects.
The present study has arisen from queries raised by the Government and by advisers in the Overseas Development Administration of the United Kingdom Government about certain areas that may not have been covered adequately by Wapora, and about the lack of specific recommendations for mitigation and monitoring (see Annex 1: Terms of Reference). The study team, comprising a Marine Ecologist, a Coastal Engineer, and a Land Ecologist, spent 12 days in the Turks and Caicos Islands including 4 days on West Caicos, and discussed the proposed mining operation with the Government, a representative of Continental, and other individuals and organisations. They were also able to visit Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, where aragonite mining has continued for some 15 years.
Thanks are due to the many people who have helped us during this brief project, especially to Colin Floyd, Director of Planning: Ken Sparks, Director of Public Works, Hugh O'Neill of Continental, and to Roger Tammen of Providenciales and his boatman Ernest, whose help and guidance were essential in enabling us to complete our work in the short time available. Our thanks are due also for the advice and information given by His Excellency the Governor, Christopher Turner; the Right Honourable Robert Hall, Minister for Health, Education and Welfare; Sterling Garland, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Development; Mr. E. Brooks, Chief Secretary; David Lang, Attorney General; Richard Whitehead, Senior Crown Counsel; Bill Clare, District Commissioner of Providenciales; Chuck Hesse of PRIDE; Art Pickering, Jim Sawtell, Steve Cole, Hearts Capron, Jack Losh, Tosh McIntosh, Claire Rowlett and other residents of Providenciales; Alison Johnson, VSO statistician; Bob St. Leger, Ministry of Finance, Richard Beales, formerly Fisheries Adviser in the British Development Division in the Caribbean, and Les Holliday of Operation Raleigh. We are grateful for professional advice from Dr. A. Thorhaug, Dr. E. Bellinger, Dr. C. Sheppard, and Dr. Harold Wanless. Finally we wish to record our gratitude to Marcona Ocean Industries Inc. for flying us to their aragonite mining operation on Ocean Cay in the Bahamas.