Sunday, July 16, 2006

Alcoa: No Drilling Yet

Sunday Guardian
July 16, 2006

Letter to the Editor

I noted with interest several Alcoa-related articles that appeared in your newspaper on July 9. While much of the reporting was fair and accurate, I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up a few key details.
Specifically, the article entitled Cap-de-Ville will not be cleared for industry wove together a series of quotes from Randy Overbey, Alcoa’s president of Primary Metals Development.
Because the quotes were taken out of context, the story created a false impression of the current activities related to our proposed smelter project at Cap-de-Ville.
Specifically, the exploratory field drilling exercise has not begun.
What has begun is the community consultation associated with that drilling.
Further, I can assure you that we fully understand and accept that no land preparation or construction can proceed without the necessary approvals from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), according to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. We have always been, and remain, committed to a comprehensive and public Environmental Impact Assessment. This will proceed in due course.
We remain available and willing to discuss this proposed project in detail with your correspondents or editorial staff.

Wade Hughes
Director, Public Strategy
Global Primary Products Growth,

Editor’s Note:

The following was transcribed from a taped version of Mr Overbey’s address to members of the American Chamber of Commerce:
“We are proceeding with the project. I know there has been a lot of noise in the media but we are proceeding with the project. We are proceeding with detailed engineering as you can tell around the layout of the plant.
“We [are] proceeding with scoping, we are proceeding with estimating. We have filed for our certificate of clearance from the EMA as well as [are] doing work on power plant development.
“We are spending quite a lot of Alcoa’s money as we do that.
“We did sign an agreement in principle with the Government in February.
“I hope that Government views this as a very important document, which we both must take very seriously.
“We don’t look at an agreement in principle as something we might do some day but we view it as framework for the agreement that we will go forward with.
“We have filed our Certificate of Clearance from the EMA and we are working with them. They have questions they wanted answered and we have answered it for them.
“The first activity is test boring. This is not the beginning of clearing the site. We are not going to using bulldozers for this drilling. From day one we are going to protect what is there as much as we possibly can. So if any of you see a bulldozer on the site in next few months while doing the test drilling, you can call me.”


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