Gold Rock closes manufacturing divisions after DEVCO impasse

An impasse between Gold Rock – one of Grand Bahama’s largest concrete manufacturers – and Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO) has led to Gold Rock announcing the shutdown of two of its manufacturing divisions, which could threaten the construction industry on Grand Bahama.

Gold Rock in a statement released on Wednesday said it was being given “extremely limited” access to necessary raw materials to support its block and ready-mix divisions, and attempts to meet with DEVCO to hash out a sustainable solution failed.

Gold Rock said it was told by representatives of DEVCO and the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) that it could not have more access, as the remaining raw material had been “promised to be sold to an international company”.

“Gold Rock explained the impact this would have on ready-mix and block production for The Bahamas and was disregarded by GBPA/DEVCO. These parties were made aware that this would be the result of their decisions. We cannot continue to sustain further investment in the effected businesses with the limitations imposed by GBPA/DEVCO,” the company said in a statement.

“We have been blessed to find such good people since we came here thirty years ago. Our business, like many others that have tried to work with GBPA/DEVCO and their affiliated companies, have been met with roadblocks that are non-negotiable and undercut any and all good investments into this island.”

The statement continued, “GBPA/DEVCO have made it very clear that they are not willing to work with us. It is unfortunate that we have been forced to make this decision, but we cannot work in conjunction with GBPA/DEVCO any longer. It has made it impossible to have a sustainable investment on this island. When asked about an alternative source of aggregate materials, they proposed we design and build them a marina. Gold Rock will not be doing that.”

DEVCO Chief Executive Officer and Senior Legal Counsel Charisse Brown said in a statement that the company was surprised by the allegations, adding that good faith negotiations were still ongoing.

“We wish to categorically state we have not terminated or cancelled any contract between DEVCO and Gold Rock, nor given any indication that we intend to. For further clarification, In June 2017, DEVCO entered a five-year contract with Gold Rock. DEVCO worked with Gold Rock throughout the contract period and the contract reached its binding maturity date,” she said.

“As the 2017 contract was due to expire, DEVCO began new contract negotiations in earnest in May of this year. The terms and conditions of the new proposed contract are now in its final stages. DEVCO has and will continue to operate with transparency and conduct its business in a fair and respectful manner.”

Also in response, GBPA President Ian Rolle said in a statement, “The Grand Bahama Port Authority has never entered into any contracts with licensee Gold Rock Corporation regarding the sale of aggregate stockpiles (raw material and boulders) in the Devonshire Subdivision. This subdivision is the responsibility of the Grand Bahama Development Company, which can provide clarity on all residential and commercial matters within their jurisdiction.”

Gold Rock said it does not anticipate a resolution to the issue.

“Our hearts are heavy for our employees, their families and customers affected by this. But it is out of our control. Gold Rock does not anticipate a resolution to this issue because of the lack of acknowledgment and response to the concerns we have expressed,” the company said.

“These terms have led us to shutting down two of our divisions in order to sustain enough aggregate for our structure manufacturing for the long-term survival of Gold Rock.”

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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