Grassalco leads the development of the sustainable development of the mineral potential of Suriname with the exception of hydrocarbons, as such to fulfill a dominant role in the mineral development of the republic of Suriname.
Grassalco and sustainable development
Sustainable development for us is to make sure that our business is and will remain viable and that it creates lasting benefits to Suriname by taking into considerations social, environmental, ethical and economic aspects into all that we are doing. Our vision of sustainable development is to create sustainable value for our society.
Grassalco will develop projects in such a way that it creates high quality jobs, provides possibilities for introduction of new skills and for training and skills enhancements.
Our business and projects must be profitable such as to guarantee a sustainable livelihood for our employees, local communities and pay taxes and royalty to the treasury.
In all our activities we aspire for zero harm to people and the environment.
Grassalco (short for Grasshopper Aluminium Company) is a 100% Government owned mining company, active in the development of the country’s mineral wealth. It was founded by Government decree in 1971 to develop not only the newly discovered bauxite deposits in Western Suriname but also the whole region. That is why transport, trade and industry are included in its Statutes of Incorporation alongside mining.
Grassalco falls under the Ministry of Natural Resources. The shareholders are represented by Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Finance.
The Supervisory Board is chaired by Mr. Patah Pawiroredjo and reports to the Minister of Natural Resources.
Drs. Sergio Akiemboto is the current general director and he is directly assisted by the by the Deputy Finance Director Mrs Joan Autar MSc.
Grassalco enjoys a healthy financial state, supported by a steady stream of royalty income from the Rosebel Gold Mines in which it is a royalty shareholder. With a young academic staff supported by experienced consultants, the company is poised for sustainable growth in the future.
Grassalco’s corporate office is located in Paramaribo at Kaatsbalstraat # 10, Industrieweg Zuid.
Grassalco’s development since its foundation in 1971 evolved around efforts to develop the Bakhuys bauxite deposits in Western Suriname discovered in the early 1960’s by the Geological and Mining Service (GMD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In Joint Venture with Reynolds the newly founded Grassalco investigated whether or not the Bakhuys bauxite met Reynolds criteria for building an alumina refinery to process the bauxite, namely: at least 50 million tons proven reserves with 50% available alumina. In 1975 Reynolds announced that the investigations had not shown sufficient quantities and grade of bauxite to satisfy the criteria for the construction of a Reynolds type alumina plant.
In 1976 the Government started the construction of the railroad from Apura, Corantijn River to the bauxite areas.
In 1977 the NV Billiton Maatschappij Suriname was asked to conduct a feasibility study which it presented in 1979 with the conclusion that Bakhuys bauxite was not trade able on the international market.
The Joint Commission was formed between the Government (Grassalco director), the Suralco and Billiton to look for an economically suitable alternative for the bauxite.
Billiton proposed to substitute 325,000 Bdmt Onverdacht bauxite by 435,000 Bdmt Bakhuis bauxite and calcining the Onverdacht ore for refractory purposes. Suralco and Billiton decided to investigate the implications for the Paranam refinery. Following a pre-feasibility study on the matter Suralco recommended in 1980 to investigate the following two possibilities:
expansion of the refinery with 575,000 t/y, which equates to mining of 2 million tonnes of Bakhuys bauxite;
Substitution of 325,000 Bdmt Onverdacht ore with 434,000 Bdmt Bakhuys ore.
In 1982 the Government more or less decided to shelf the project.
Grassalco then decided to diversify into other minerals. They took over an aggregate quarry in Western Suriname. Grassalco in joint venture with Placer Gold started investigations in the Gross Rosebel area and later in 1983 continued exploration on its own until 1986.
Rosebel gold mines
Under a Mineral Agreement between the Republic of Suriname, Grassalco and Cambior the mineral rights of Grassalco on the Gross Rosebel property were transferred to a working company the Rosebel Gold Mines. This mine in Brokopondo is the biggest gold producer for IAMGOLD as can be gleaned from the annual production data. Currently Grassalco holds a royalty interest in the operations of the Rosebel Gold Mines and sits in the Board.
The current capacity of the mine is 250-400.ounces of gold per annum with reserves totaling 4 million ounces.
Exploration is ongoing in the areas falling under a mineral right of exploration (Thunder Mountain)
For further reading about the Rosebel Gold Mines click here (click here is dan de link naar: http://www.iamgold.com/English/Operations/Operating-Mines/Rosebel-Gold-Mine-Suriname/default.aspx
Bakhuys crushed stone operation
In 1972 and 1973 field work was carried out to select a suitable site for a rock quarry which should provide ballast material for the planned bauxite railroad between Bakhuys Mountains and the village of Apura on the Corantijn River. For the construction of the railroad at least 250,000 to 300,000 m3 of hard rock is needed, whereas after the completion of the railroad production has to be continued for maintenance and for harbor construction at Apura. The minimum reserves of hard rock must therefore be about 400,000 to 500,000 m3. This was found at what is called Rosebel hill situated on the western border of the Bakhuys Mountains. Here Morris & Knudsen (EMKAY) who held a contract to construct the railroad opened a quarry to produce ballast material for that purpose.
Just in 1982 after transfer by the Foundation for Management and Redistribution Project Properties Railroad Western Suriname (Stichting Spoor) Grassalco received the equipment used by EMKAY to construct the railroad. With this equipment Grassalco could start exploiting the quarry near Kamp 52 it also took over.
Other historical activities were the exploration of the North Benzdorp gold property with Canarc Resource Corp that didn’t produce bankable results. The mineral rights were not prolonged by the Government.
The contractor agreement with Surinam Stone & Industries for quarrying natural stone at Patamacca got the quarry underway and finally Grassalco decided to quarry on its own.
When being part of a generation on which the flag of entrepreneurship seems to be constantly waving in the sea of young professionals looking to succeed in the business world, more often than not, we tend to drown in the... Read More