JIS News

Two bauxite companies have been recognised by the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), for their excellence in the area of environmental management.
The two, Windalco’s Ewarton Mines and Jamalco, were presented with awards for best mining operations and best environmental performance respectively, at the National Minerals Industry Safety Awards ceremony held recently at the Knutsford Court hotel in Kingston. This is the third occasion that Jamalco was receiving the award for best mining operations.
Shanti Persaud, Environmental Officer at the JBI, noted that the awards “are a judgement on the environmental performance of each company” and was based on information garnered during the Institute’s regular monitoring activities.
In evaluating Jamalco’s performance in the maintenance of standards, Ms. Persaud explained that although all companies had environmental management systems (EMS) that were ISO 14001 certified, Jamalco’s operations stood out. “When we look at their performance this year compared to the previous year and compared to other companies, Jamalco had the best plant and port area,” she said.
Jamalco, which is currently undergoing an expansion exercise, was said to have made efforts over the years to reduce dust emissions and was observed as having “a good environmental management system.”
Turning to Windalco, Ms. Persaud pointed out that the company’s two facilities – Ewarton and Kirkvine Works – had competed independently though they shared the same port. “At one of those facilities, Windalco was quite strong however, Jamalco gained the edge in the overall evaluation.”
She added however that the Ewarton Mine ranked second in terms of total area reclaimed and had “a much better air quality compared to the other areas where mining is being carried out.”
The environmental management award was first granted in 2002 to recognise companies’ environmental performance in 2001. Ms. Persaud noted that monitoring the environmental management systems of companies in the bauxite industry was a delegated responsibility from the National Environmental Planning Agency (NEPA) and that the inclusion of the awards in the National Mineral Industry Safety Awards was a demonstration of the importance of this task to the JBI.