JIS News

Geological and Geotechnical regulatory services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land are to benefit from an allocation of $7.55 million, which has been set aside in the 2006/07 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project is primarily concerned with the general provision of all prospecting and mining operations in the island, to ensure conformity with the requirements and standards set by the Mining Act, the Quarries Control Act and the Gun Powder and Explosives Act.
It also undertakes analysis of geological specimens to establish their commercial value; identifies the incidence of deposits and determines suitability and availability for economic exploitation; and monitors all bauxite/alumina shipments and quarries for revenue purposes. The programme is also responsible for providing basic technical data necessary for planners and engineers in areas of civil engineering and construction, particularly for marginal lands exposed to the effects of natural disasters.
The sum will be shared between quarrying and zoning activities, which will receive $2.5 million; metallic minerals exploration, which will receive $1.85 million; non-metallic minerals exploration, which will get $2 million; and geological and geotechnical assessments, which will benefit from $1.2 million.
The objective of the quarrying and zoning project is to regulate and control the quarrying for sand, limestone, and aggregate, among other things, in order to avoid unlawful destruction of the environment.
This year’s provision will continue the work being done to establish quarry zones near developing centres and townships, in order to provide building and construction material.
Meanwhile, the aim of the metallic minerals exploration programme is to provide geological information that is critical to the promotion of investments in non bauxite metallic minerals and to support diversification of the mineral sector.
The non-metallic minerals exploration project seeks to determine the commercial viability locally and overseas, of different types of limestone and other non-metallic minerals. Its objectives are: to identify and evaluate economic deposits of industrial minerals; assist investors in preliminary geological evaluation, sampling, analysis and definition of mineral reserves; and prepare a quarry development plan.
In addition, the geological and geotechnical assessments project undertakes national landslide and seismic hazard mapping in volatile areas islandwide and provides advice for a national disaster management plan, as well as other national development plans involving road construction and other engineering projects.