Lydford Mining making history in limestone export
Lydford Mining, a quiet powerhouse in the local mining sector, has, in recent years, expanded its operations from a small limestone-mining company which began in 1993 to become an international exporter operating out of Lydford, St Ann.
The company made history in late 2018 when it became the first exporter of crushed limestone sand to the United States Virgin Islands. The shipment of 4,800 tons of construction, grade limestone sand was a first for the company last year, but the team, led by Director Edgar Cousins, has continued the export of limestone sand in 2019. Lydford is focused on growing market share locally and internationally by using Jamaica’s resources in an environmentally friendly way. Cousins explains, “This use of sand is an environmentally friendly alternative to the mining of river sand for construction purposes so as to protect river courses and land erosion.”
The limestone sand produced by Lydford Mining has been created based on the clients’ individual needs and has been used locally in the Montego Bay Jamaica Airport expansion in building the ramp. It has also been used in the hotel industry on the north coast and other well-known construction projects.
Poised for growth
Lydford Mining straddles two of the fastest-growth sectors in the Jamaican economy – construction and mining.
The company is poised to not only provide for the needs of the local construction market, but to compete at the international building materials supplier level. Over the past 12 months, they have increased production from 1,000 to 2,500 tons per day to 3,500 tons with the purchase of new equipment which include a power-generation plant, impact crusher, filter screen and wash plant.
According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the mining and quarrying industry contributed the bulk of the 1.7 per cent expansion in the Jamaican economy during the quarter ending December 2018, growing by nearly 23 per cent as a result of increased capacity utilisation at two of the country’s three alumina refineries.
Lydford’s growth is a direct result of its decades-old relationship with its main financier, Scotiabank. Speaking with the Lydford Mining executive team, Daniel Brown, senior manager of the commercial banking team, congratulated the clients on becoming an exporter and reaffirmed Scotiabank’s commitment to help them grow even larger.
“Scotiabank is focused on ensuring that we can provide value to our customers by striving to understand their business and their vision so that we can deliver the meaningful support that they need to expand and become bigger players in their industry, and, by extension, help to stimulate the development of the country. We are proud of Lydford, and it’s been a great opportunity to partner with them over the years.”
The funding of this latest expansion to the international market is a result of the current, local interest rate climate and the opportunities it provides for companies to grow beyond their traditional areas of business into new markets. Perrin Gayle, Scotiabank’s senior vice- president of corporate and commercial banking, commented, “As interest rates fall across the financial industry and the Government seeks to lessen red tape, companies like Lydford are gearing up to do more business, which means more equipment and a greater desire for capital.
“Scotiabank understands this dynamic and is looking to partner with our clients to realise the opportunities that exist for expansion.
“By being on site with Lydford, our team was able to get first-hand experience of the mining business and offer critical financing at the right time.
Our relationship with Lydford is a great example of how, as financial partners, we can work to make our clients’ goals become reality.”