JIS News

The Government is holding discussions with a group of potential investors from the United States, which has expressed an interest in mining, and exporting minerals from the island.
Minister of Mining and Telecommunications Derrick Smith made the disclosure to JIS News.
“Yesterday morning (March 26) I had a meeting with potential investors who are looking at three locations in Jamaica to do mining, limestone and aggregate,” he said.
While not divulging details of the discussions, nor the potential mining locations, Minister Smith indicated that, “What I can say to you is that two of the locations are in the east of the island and the other is in the south-central part of the island,” he told JIS News.
With bauxite alumina now experiencing a beating on the world market, the Government has intensified its call for diversification in mining, with particular emphasis on limestone.
In order to create a framework for the development of the sector and its potential to contribute to export income and rural development, the Ministry recently drafted the country’s first National Minerals Policy.
It points to Jamaica’s wide range of commercially exploitable minerals, including a wide variety of limestones, hard volcanic rocks, bauxite, marble, base and precious metals, as being of major significance to the island’s economic development.
In recognition of this, the policy establishes the framework for the country’s approach to managing its mineral resources and developing its minerals industry in an environment that fosters more investments while protecting environmental integrity.
In addition, the Minerals Development Act, is to be introduced. It is aimed at creating a modern, diversified and efficient minerals industry, as well as protecting the environment, and adding value to the economy.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Marcia Forbes described the proposed Act as a major element of the Policy.
“At the end of the day, we don’t just want a Policy, we want to end up with an Act that will serve the industry. The intention is to provide the levelling of the playing field, that will allow for the growth of all aspects of the industry, so we are not just focussing on bauxite and alumina,” said Mrs. Forbes, who was speaking at the Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI)/Export-Import Bank National Minerals Week power breakfast, on February 17.

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