KINGSTON — Principal Director in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Oral Rainford, says a final revised draft of the proposed National Policy on Minerals Development 2010-2030, being developed by the Ministry, is expected to be submitted to Cabinet by March 2012.
This, as the Ministry has concluded its series of public consultations on the document, and is now in the process of completing the policy’s development for submission.
Addressing the ninth and final forum at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) auditorium, Trafalgar Road on Wednesday (Nov. 30), Mr. Rainford said the feedback from the public will be included in the final document.
"We will filter the comments that we get into the policy document and we hope to have this process completed by the end of February next year, thereafter, by March, we do hope to make a submission to Cabinet,” he informed.
“We do expect that by June of next year, the policy would have gone to Parliament, and Parliament would have seen it fit to agree that the policy should proceed to the implementation stage,’ he added.
The Director, who has responsibility for the Ministry’s Policy Planning and Minerals Division, said the issues arising and recommendations forthcoming covered a wide range of subjects. These include environmental control, employment, rehabilitation of and access to mined-out lands, particularly for farming, and focus on developing and marketing value-added products.
Although completing the formal consultations, Mr. Rainford assured that the Ministry would continue to engage stakeholders in dialogue on the policy “to the extent that we need to do it and to the extent that our partners are willing to bring new insights to us”.
He said that there has been significant resonance of the policy among the stakeholders and buy-in of its provisions.
"Persons realise that the sector is one that can contribute to significant national growth, significant national development, and they are of the view that we ought to do what is necessary to effect that process. But, of course, (we should) always (be) mindful of other stakeholders and minimizing whatever negative impacts the sector may cost," Mr. Rainford said.
The National Policy on Minerals Development aims to ensure that Jamaica’s mineral wealth supports sustainable national development and contributes to sustainable prosperity.
The series of fora parish public consultations, which formed part of the policy’s development phase, commenced on October 26 in Yallahs, St. Thomas, with subsequent meetings in St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, St. Ann and St. Mary, and Kingston, which are major mining areas.
The series formed part of wider consultations which commenced in 2008, and incorporated a broad cross-section of private and public sector interests
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter