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    • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says in 2018, the minerals sector contributed some 2.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while earning some US$1.3 billion.
    • He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the minerals sector exhibition and trade show, held today (November 21) at the Hope Complex football field, Hope Gardens, in Kingston.
    • Minerals and mineral products, including bauxite, limestone, alumina, cement, sand and gravel, account for more than 75 per cent of the annual value of Jamaica’s traditional exports.

    Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says in 2018, the minerals sector contributed some 2.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while earning some US$1.3 billion.

    He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the minerals sector exhibition and trade show, held today (November 21) at the Hope Complex football field, Hope Gardens, in Kingston.

    Minerals and mineral products, including bauxite, limestone, alumina, cement, sand and gravel, account for more than 75 per cent of the annual value of Jamaica’s traditional exports.

    Regarding limestone, Minister Montague noted that the mineral is used in areas such as construction and road repairs.

    “Our medical grade limestone is the best in the world. Therefore, the toothpaste you use, there is an 80 per cent chance that the filler in that toothpaste is Jamaican medical grade limestone. The tablets that you use… have a filler… and that filler is limestone,” he said.

    “Therefore, it is critical that we, in a sustainable way, exploit the resource that we have, because Jamaica has been blessed. So, we are encouraging investments in limestone, not only in quarrying, but to take it to the next stage of manufacturing… to do the tablets here,” Mr. Montague added.

    Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the Government is in discussions with private sector interests to develop a Limestone Processing Facility.

    “In terms of our bauxite and alumina industry, they use a lot of hydrated lime. The bulk of it is imported and we do produce a little and the Ministry is in talks with a number of investors to look at doing a limestone processing facility here in Jamaica. We will provide the information…and we want the private sector to look at it,” Mr. Montague said.

    According to the Mines and Geology Division in the Ministry, 70 per cent of the Jamaican landscape is comprised of limestone.

    The Division notes that limestone is only formed under marine conditions (under water). This means Jamaica was once submerged beneath the sea before emerging due to sea level fall or the upliftment of the land due to tectonic activity.