JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Quarries Control (Amendment) Act, which seeks to improve the management of quarries in Jamaica and increase fines for illicit quarrying, was passed on Tuesday, October 28, in the House of Representatives.
  • In piloting the legislation, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, noted that the increase in illicit quarrying has highlighted the need for more effective regulation of the industry.
  • The fine for operating a quarry without a licence has been increased from $30,000 up to a maximum of $1 million, and from $50,000 to a maximum of $2 million for a second or subsequent offence.

The Quarries Control (Amendment) Act, which seeks to improve the management of quarries in Jamaica and increase fines for illicit quarrying, was passed on Tuesday, October 28, in the House of Representatives.

In piloting the legislation, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, noted that the increase in illicit quarrying has highlighted the need for more effective regulation of the industry.

He noted that the principal Act is being amended to provide realistic penalties for breaches.

The fine for operating a quarry without a licence has been increased from $30,000 up to a maximum of $1 million, and from $50,000 to a maximum of $2 million for a second or subsequent offence.

“The rationale for the increase is to provide an effective deterrent in recognition of the fact that the fine is over 20 years old, as well as the fact that illicit quarrying has been a cover for various types of other illicit activities in Jamaica,” Minister Paulwell said.

The amendments also increase the penalties for illicit extraction of quarry material or quarry mineral, by the use of motorised equipment such as extractors and drag lines; and require quarry operators to issue receipts and dispatch vouchers for material or mineral removed from quarries.

It also requires persons transporting or purchasing quarry material to show proof of purchase upon request, and those employed in the management of certain quarries to be certified by the Commissioner, after satisfactorily completing a prescribed course of study.

The law is also amended to impose a buffer zone of 15 metres between the land on which the quarry is located and adjoining properties.

“Therefore, persons engaging in lawful quarrying will be required to seek the permission of the adjoining landowners in order to operate the quarry,” Mr. Paulwell said.

He explained that this requirement seeks to ensure the safety of the public as well as protect landowners from nuisance and damage to their properties.

Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Investment, Commerce, Energy and Mining, Karl Samuda, welcomed the passage of the legislation, which will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.