Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the government is committed to revitalising the local bauxite/alumina industry, which has been ailing for some time.
“This sector is very important to us as a nation, not only for the revenue that it can bring, but in light of the fact that so many Jamaican communities depend on bauxite for their survival,” the Minister stated, while speaking at a press briefing at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, in New Kingston, last week.
Mr. Paulwell said that he has commenced discussions with key players and stakeholders in the sector, with a view to identifying the various concerns and to work at creating solutions.
Meanwhile, the Minister further noted that Jamaica has deposits of some of the highest quality of several industrial materials, including limestone and gypsum, representing a largely untapped industry.
“We will be looking seriously at developing those resources, which will ultimately improve our export potential with focus on value-added production and foreign exchange earnings, as well as adding jobs in many different sectors,” he said.
Mr. Paulwell said the Government is currently working on a mining policy, which is being finalised, and that the public would be informed on the issues surrounding the policy as soon as he receives further information.
By Athaliah Reynolds, JIS Reporter