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JIS News

The series of island wide consultations on the draft National Minerals Policy, organised by the Ministry of Mining and Telecommunications, were successful in increasing public awareness of some of the serious issues relating to minerals development in the country.
“There are some serious issues relating to minerals development in the country and the series of public consultations assisted us in getting these issues to the fore,” said Senior Director of Policy Planning Development in the Ministry, Oral Rainford, at the final in the series of discussion sessions held on December 11 at the Wesley Methodist Church Hall in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland.
The sessions were aimed at discussing the draft policy document and to solicit the input and contributions of civil society in its final formulation.
“We have had an interesting three months of discussions where the public came out and expressed their views on the document as well as other issues it wanted to see included in the document. The consultations have been fairly successful. There have been times when we have not gotten the numbers that we would have wanted. but the quality of the discussions was very important,” Mr. Rainford informed.
He said that the next step in the process is to begin to incorporate all the concerns and opinions of the public into the final document.
According to Mr. Rainford, there is need for strong and effective regulations to safeguard against exploitation of the country’s mineral resources, and to bring about a more diversified minerals sector.
“A more diversified mineral sector should contribute to greater earnings, create a condition in which we can employ more people and at higher skill levels and these will assist us in ensuring that the economy is on a better footing than it currently is,” the Senior Director told JIS News.