Find Mining expertise in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad’s Pitch Lake, around 100 square acres in size, in La Brea still has abundant supplies of asphalt, despite having been mined since the 16th-century. The asphalt is used primarily in road surfacing. Geologists believe that the asphalt – also known as pitch or bitumen – was formed thousands of years ago when the Caribbean tectonic plate slipped under another plate. This created pressure between the two plates that forced oil from deep underground upwards into a pool, from which the deposits concentrated over time and turned into asphalt. A large amount of the asphalt is concentrated at the lake’s surface, with oil also found under the lake.

State-owned Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago carries out the mining operation. The company, which is more than 100 years old, also does refining and distributes the asphalt – its products are sold all over the world, with China and Germany now among its biggest customers. Asphalt is sold as bitumen, bitumen emulsions and asphalt cement. A new pelletised version of its asphalt has also been launched. In 2007, 34,244 tons of asphalt, and related products, were sold.

Trinidad also has a production plant in Point Lisas that processes Brazillian iron ore to create direct reduced iron. The plant was opened by an American company called Nucor in 2006 because of its strategic location – the finished iron is shipped to the USA – and the availability of local low-cost gas.

Between 2008 and 2012 employment in the energy sector averaged 3.2%. The sector is dominated by local workers, but foreign workers are sometimes brought in as engineers and project managers, usually only on a short-term basis.

However, there are still a few foreign workers, or expatriates, employed in the Trinidad and Tobago energy sector. These expatriates include project managers, captains and engineers (drilling, directional, foremen and crews) who are hired typically on a short term or project basis (The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, 2007).

Mining and Minerals organisations in Trinidad and Tobago
Harriman J N & Company Limited
Josar Limited
Lake Asphalt Ltd
Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago (1978) Limited
Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
National Quarries Company Limited
Trinidad Cement Ltd.
Unisure Limited