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  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Alwin Hales says that grants totalling $9 million (€51,000) that were recently awarded to 12 mining and quarry operators, will be beneficial, as the country deals with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The funding was provided for under phase two of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Minerals Development Programme.
  • The funds will assist the beneficiary individuals and entities in implementing activities to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations, with particular focus on safety and security, business and emergency response.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Alwin Hales says that grants totalling $9 million (€51,000) that were recently awarded to 12 mining and quarry operators, will be beneficial, as the country deals with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was provided for under phase two of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Minerals Development Programme.

The funds will assist the beneficiary individuals and entities in implementing activities to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations, with particular focus on safety and security, business and emergency response.

Dr. Hales noted that the Programme has provided a significant boost to Jamaica’s mining industry over the years.

“Since its inception in 2015, the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme has been of signal assistance to our minerals sector, especially the industrial minerals industry,” he said. In a message read by Principal Director for the Mining/Minerals Policy Planning and Development Division at the Ministry, Dr. Oral Rainford, at the handover ceremony, Dr. Hales pointed out that each recipient received US$5000.

“At this moment when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact our society and practically all economies, governments, companies, and individuals are struggling to reposition themselves, protect themselves from the disease and ensure their economic wellbeing, the grants that the programme has decided to award will undoubtedly help the recipients to navigate this most difficult period in the country’s modern history,” he said.

“Now in its second three-year phase since November of last year, the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme continues to demonstrate its value and relevance to Jamaica’s industrial minerals industry and minerals craft industry,” he added.

He further noted that the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme has helped to accelerate the development of the minerals craft industry, through the exposure of hundreds of Jamaicans to training in an array of subject areas locally and internationally.

The areas of training include quarry management, business development, the use of information management systems, craft development and grievance management in the mining sector.

Regarding the grants, Dr. Hales said that the Ministry which was integral in evaluating and scoring various proposals that were received, is happy to have been involved in the process that resulted in the awards.

He encouraged the recipients to make the best use of the funds and to remain committed to their profession, while facilitating the development of Jamaica.

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