Project to Develop Minerals Sector Launched

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Alwin Hales (2nd right), views items developed by Alabaster World, while at the launch of the Development Minerals Project, funded by the European Union (EU), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and held Wednesday (October 19), at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, in St. Andrew. Looking on (at left) are proprietor of Alabaster World, Delroy Lamont, and (at right) is Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounounce.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica is to benefit from a three-year programme aimed at positioning the country to take advantage of the lucrative minerals sector.
  • The project will also strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises, community groups, business development centres, and regulatory agencies.
  • The 13.1 million-euro Development Minerals Programme, being funded by the European Union (EU), is being undertaken in Six African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.

Jamaica is to benefit from a three-year programme aimed at positioning the country to take advantage of the lucrative minerals sector.

The 13.1 million-euro Development Minerals Programme, being funded by the European Union (EU), is being undertaken in Six African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.

It seeks to build the profile and improve the management of Neglected Development Minerals (NDM), which include industrial and construction minerals, and dimension and semi-precious stones.

The project will also strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises, community groups, business development centres, and regulatory agencies.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the implementing agency for the project.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch held on Wednesday (October 19) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Alwin Hales, said the project will boost productivity in the sector.

“The sector now has a real chance to increase its productivity, better manage its operations, and adhere to national and international environmental and health standards,” he said.

It is estimated that Jamaica can earn up to US$7 billion annually by ramping up the production of limestone and its high value-added items for the local and export markets.

The Permanent Secretary said that under the guidance of the EU and the UNDP, the project will be effectively executed, and result in better mines and quarry management, improved environmental health and safety standards, enhanced entrepreneurial skills, and better access to markets and working capital.

“I am sure the stakeholders stand to benefit tremendously from this timely intervention by our partners, the UNDP and EU on the international front, and local stakeholders,” he noted.

For his part, UNDP Resident Representative to Jamaica, Bruno Pouezat, said the initiative will transfer knowledge and technical expertise, and the sharing of experiences, best practices and lessons learned among the six countries involved in the programme.

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