JIS News

The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), during 2005/2006 fiscal year, continued work aimed at protecting bauxite lands and reserves, including a submission to Cabinet for the establishment of the Bauxite Land Management Committee, to provide for the effective management of bauxite-bearing lands.
As contained in the Institute’s annual report for this period, the submission proposed that the legal authority of the Committee be established by instituting a number of proposals including: the formal appointment of the Committee by the responsible Minister in consultation with the Minister of Development, ensuring the inclusion of all the relevant land agencies; the empowerment of the Committee with exclusive authority to receive applications, and to make recommendations to the Ministers regarding the use of bauxite lands. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Mines and Geology Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, and the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, were cited as critical advisory entities in this process.
It was further proposed that “clear relationships should be established between the Committee and the ministries, departments and agencies of government responsible for matters pertaining to mining, “and that “the role of each entity represented on the Committee is to be clearly identified and accepted by all in respect to its functions, to guarantee that relevant actions are taken and that the processes are expedited in every case,” the report outlined.
In addition to its role in the protection and utilization of bauxite lands, the submission outlined an additional role for the Committee, with respect to the facilitation and coordination of comprehensive spatial plans for bauxite areas.
Meanwhile, the Bauxite Lands Division of the JBI received some 404 new applications for private residential sub-divisions during the period April 2005 to March 2006. Of the total, 376 were recommended for approval by the Institute, with the remainder denied on the basis of proximity to unmined bauxite reserves.
“The Division also continued to provide assistance to the bauxite companies in the processing of sub-division applications for re-settlement housing and worker housing”, the report said, noting that since April, 2005, a total of 18 new applications for bauxite company re-settlement and worker housing sub-divisions were received compared with 16 during the previous year.
In the area of property evaluation, the proposed Jamalco expansion and the land management arrangement between Alpart and the government, prompted the need for extensive field investigations in Central and North St. Elizabeth, as well as in North Manchester. This saw property investigations being carried out in the Malvern, Middle Quarters, Lacovia Mountains, Santa Cruz and the Mile Gully regions.
The report explained that, “this field work was geared towards verifying the location and status of government-owned bauxite lands in these areas.
Collaborative work with the National Land Agency’s Land Valuation Department generated data, which formed the basis for determining rates to be applied for leases of these agricultural and mining lands in the mining industry. These investigations, which included the development of property schedules and mapping for the areas, enabled the granting of leases of agricultural lands for the new Alpart and Jamalco Special Exclusive Prospecting Licences (SEPLs) in St. Elizabeth and Manchester, respectively”.
Meanwhile, the Cartography Unit continued its work in relation to property and reserves mapping and assessment, the mapping and analysis of exploration work, and general map production, to support the work of the Bauxite Lands and Reserves Divisions. The Unit was also heavily occupied plotting ore body maps from survey data obtained from the North Manchester Exploration Project.