There needs to be a Commission of Economic Inquiry, convened, as a matter of urgent public interest and promised transparency, into the long history of aragonite mining in The Bahamas. Then let the chips fall where they may.

Monopoly and cartel driven exploitation, of Bahamian natural resources, has long been presented as a fait accompli. Bahamians have been told that, in return for a handful of jobs, it was necessary and even economically correct, to allow monopolies and cartels to exist in certain industries.

The Sunday Star Bulletin and Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii, 19 JULY 1970
The Sunday Star Bulletin and Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii, 19 JULY 1970

In return for $250 a week, paid to some Bahamian and Haitian labourers, millions could be exported out of the country, by foreign investors. Grinning government officials, could be found waving profits derived in the country, a sincere goodbye, as millions left these shores. Then, as election time came around, lamenting howls would emanated from their beating breasts as to the plight of the poor in the Islands.

Bahamian Members of Parliament, would then go to the electorate, and truthfully say that jobs were brought for unskilled and skilled labourers. It was true.

Critically speaking however, government officials always omitted the numbers; and deftly forgot to include that under their watch, tens of millions of dollars, had been exported.

There needs to a full public disclosure document prepared of all licenses, all fees, all royalties, all land transfers, all exports and all environmental impact studies, from year dot to present day.

Bahamians need to know, in order to understand how the exploitation of sand has led to the creation of a man made cay, created to dredge Aragonite, which now serves as a vacation point and cruise ship tourist stop.

The Miami Herald Thursday 18 MARCH 1971

A timeline needs to be established as to how aragonite, a natural resource of islands of The Bahamas, gifted to the people of this land, through thousands of millions of years of evolution, has been occasioned to be exploited for some 70 years.

All conflicts of interest, all government officials ownership or interests, beginning from the 1950s, needs to be disclosed and documented.

All government documents, related to Aragonite should be made available to a publicly selected committee, so that a full history and economic disclosure can be made.

In the urgent interest of history.

In the urgent interest of transparency.

The Miami Herald Thursday 18 MARCH 1971

In the urgent interest of the nation’s natural resources.

It is time to convene a public commission of economic inquiry into past, present and future exploitation of Bahamian natural, and NATIONAL resources!

Then, let the chips fall, even upon our heads, where they may!

Make it make sense! – The American Museum of Natural History DID NOT sell its shares, they were CONVERTED into shares in the original ARAGONITE mining company

Honolulu Star Bulletin, Thursday 09 APRIL 1970

How did a natural science study into the Flora and Fauna of the Bahamas in 1953 turn into large scale Aragonite mining operation by 1959, then a man made CAY and now into tourist stopover for cruise ships in 2021 —— How? It’s called exploitation!



The American Museum of Natural History came on a six month study of the flora and fauna of the Islands. They discovered the purity of Bahamian Aragonite. Around the time the UBP Government was selling off land and rights, like peppermint candy in the shop, the American Museum of Natural History obtained exclusive lease, license or grant, whatever you want to call it, to mine Aragonite.

But of course they had no mining capability. They had to shop the licence around to those already with mining operations.

The Miami Herald Monday 06 JULY 1953

A… went to B… went to C… went to D and so forth

This was was the beginning of the Aragonite commercial story for The Bahamas.

The Miami Herald Thursday 18 MARCH 1971

From 1953 to present day, the Bahamian people have been told one concocted narrative after the other. Under the guise of ‘new industry’ and the perennial ‘carrot before the horse’ bait of jobs, the true story of this most precious natural resource, Aragonite, has been more of a mystery than who killed Sir Harry Oakes.

A… went to B… went to C… went to D and so forth

All the economic and capital gains have accrued to these various companies. Of these capital gains, successive Bahamian governments negotiated paltry returns for the people. The treasury department of The Bahamas has received nominal ‘net of profit’ royalties – if that.


To build a new city, concrete was needed. To mix concrete, you needed sand. Lots of sand. Atlas Cement is subsidiary of US Steel. Bahamas Cement was subsidiary of Atlas Cement.

A… went to B… went to C… went to D and so forth

Arizona Daily Star, Tuesday 14 FEBRUARY 1961


Maule Industries receives Freeport contract to supply concrete for a large cement mill. Maule Industries is contracted by Bahamas Cement Co Ltd which is a subsidiary of U. S. Steel Corp.


By 1965 Union Carbide Corp dredging Bahamas Aragonite for another new use in agricultural fertilisers.

The Miami Herald Friday 19 November 1965
The Miami Herald Wednesday 29 December 1965
The Miami Herald Wednesday 29 December 1965

By 1965 Maule Industries has exclusive contract with Bahamas Government to mine aragonite. Establishes new company Maule-Bahamas Ltd.

Miami Herald, Sunday 7th FEBRUARY 1965


Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Wednesday 11th AUGUST 1965
Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Wednesday 11th AUGUST 1965
Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Wednesday 11th AUGUST 1965
The Miami Herald, Wednesday 29th DECEMBER 1965


Bahama Aragonite to replenish depleted Florida beaches.

Miami Herald Friday 22nd JULY 1966


Ocean Industries plans to build $2 million plant to process ARAGONITE mined in Bahamas.

The Miami Herald Tuesday 08 OCTOBER 1968


The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 07 SEPTEMBER 1969

Dillingham buys Ocean Industries. Ocean Industries built and named Ocean Cay

The Miami News, Wednesday 17 SEPTEMBER 1969


Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Saturday 31 JANUARY 1970
Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Saturday 31 JANUARY 1970
Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Saturday 31 JANUARY 1970
Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel Saturday 31 JANUARY 1970
The Sunday Star Bulletin and Advertiser, Honolulu, Sunday 19th JULY 1970

Lowell S. Dillingham visits Ocean Cay

The Honolulu Star Bulletin Monday 09 FEBRUARY 1970

1970 – International press reports mining giant is patting themselves on the back for creating man-made island in Bahamas. Meanwhile, Bahamians don’t know or don’t have a clue as they fight in Nassau over independence, race and politics.

Fort Lauderdale News Sunday 14 JUNE 1970


They say measure twice and cut once. But under pressure, Prime Minister Lynden Pindling appeared to be cutting fine cloth in some areas. Appeared… A handful of jobs were created. A handful…

Pindling led Progressive Liberal Party, desperate to create jobs to lend credibility to first negro led Bahamian government bring exclusive Aragonite Encouragement Act for Ocean Industries

Ocean IndustriesAragonite Encouragement Act 1971

1971 – Bahamas Government says they expect $500,000 a year in royalties from Aragonite

BAHAMA OFFICIALS EXPECT $500,000 a year in ARAGONITE ROYALTIES – The Miami Herald Thursday 18th MARCH 1971
The Miami Herald Thursday 18th MARCH 1971

1972 – Aragonite concession covers in excess of 50 billion tons in sea floor reserves and 8,235 square miles of ocean floor

The Miami News Saturday 17 JUNE 1972
The Miami News Saturday 17 JUNE 1972
The Miami News Saturday 17 JUNE 1972

1973 – PLP Minister for Development Hails Ocean Industries Aragonite mining at takeover by Marcona

San Francisco based Marcona Corp leases Ocean Cay Aragonite mining operations from Dillingham Corp.

The Miami Herald, Sunday 22 APRIL 1973
The Miami Herald, Sunday 22 APRIL 1973

1981-1982 Marcona Ocean Industries announced that it more than doubled production over the previous 5 years

An Economic History of THE BAHAMAS p.213 by Anthony Audley Thompson, B. Com., LLB,, Second Edition


Marcona expands operations with Bahamian aragonite as key ingredient in new plans for cement factory in Florida.

The Miami Herald Thursday 02 MARCH 1989

2014 – PLP Environment Minister Ignores Unions Request On Aragonite Exports

Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett has rejected requests from the National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB) to renegotiate the royalties the country receives from aragonite mining and also denied allegations that the country has approved aragonite mining near East Grand Bahama.

While speaking to reporters outside of Cabinet yesterday Minister Dorsett brushed off the union’s suggestion for the government to review the agreement for aragonite export which reportedly now sees the government receiving $2 per metric ton to increase it to $350 per metric ton.

“We’re not following the union’s direction, I’ve spoken in parliament on this matter, on the fact that we are now moving to create the national resources unit in my ministry I have spoken about salt, I have spoken about aragonite, I’ve spoken about oil, all of our extractive natural resources and the people of The Bahamas getting through the government fair compensation for the exploitation of those resources so this is nothing new,” he said.

2018 – ARAGONITE REAL VALUE JUST $2.5 million says FNM Bahamas Environment Minister

CABINET is close to reaching a conclusion that could increase the country’s aragonite mining revenue, Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira said. However, he cautioned that aragonite was not a “panacea” that would make every Bahamian citizen rich, as some believe.

ARAGONITE REAL VALUE JUST $2.5 million 24 AUGUST 2018 – The Tribune ( Nassau Bahamas). By RASHAD ROLLE

He said his ministry received an economic report on the matter earlier this year which the Minnis administration has been analysing in conjunction with key geological reports conducted in the past. Through a lease with Sandy Cay Development Company to mine aragonite off Ocean Cay near Bimini, the Bahamas government reaps a royalty of $2 per metric ton.

Some have long believed the country could make much more. “When I say substantially increase, we can go from, I think, it’s $40,000 up to $2.5 million per annum,” Mr Ferriera said.