The local mining sector has the potential to significantly add to T&T’s economy. It provides much needed aggregates such as gravel, limestone and asphalt for local construction and it is a viable source of employment. Royalty payments from quarry operators also contribute roughly TT$ 5.3 million (in 2016) to the national pursue.
However, there are many challenges facing the local mining sector such as poor royalty (revenue) collection, illegal quarrying and unlicensed quarry operations, etc. Failure to address these issues not only negatively affects the environment but it also results in shortfalls in government revenue.
We continue to attempt to include mining sector companies in the EITI. The reporting period 2014-2015 was the first time that we included this sector in the reporting process. Four (4) mining companies participated in a Mining Sector Pilot and expressed that there are no barriers to reporting under the EITI. These companies are Hermitage Limestone Limited, National Quarries Company Limited, Trinidad Cement Limited and Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago (1978) Limited. For fiscal year 2016, these companies along with F.W Hickson have agreed to voluntarily report under the EITI.
By including more mining companies under the fold of the EITI, we will achieve greater transparency across all country’s major extractive sectors and citizens will better be able to rea the full rewards from the exploitation of these valuable resources.
For more information on the mining sector in Trinidad and Tobago, see Section 5 of out TTEITI Report 2014 and 2015.