Minister Robertson Announces Multi-Million Dollar Mining Investments


Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon James Robertson, has announced several multi-million dollar non-metallic minerals mining investments for Jamaica.
Mr. Robertson was elaborating on his budget presentation at a JIS Think Tank on Thursday (July 2).
He said that export of aggregates and river demand materials stood to earn millions and boost employment in St. Thomas, as plans for the construction of ports in Yallahs River and Bowden materialise.
“These aggregates and river demand materials are in huge demand overseas, particularly in the United States, and overseas sources in countries, like Jamaica, are being sought after,” he explained.
He said that the Lafarge group of investors out of Europe, which are already operating a joint venture with Jamaica Pre-Mix to do with river demand material, are planning to build a port facility at Yallahs to handle the export of aggregates.
“This could mean an export value of approximately J$770 million, annually,” he added.
Mr. Robertson went on to state that a group of local investors was planning to construct a port facility at Bowden, to ship river demand material from the Plantain Garden and Morant Rivers.
He said that the benefits are multi-fold, as not only would there be a significant boost to business and employment in these communities, but the dredging of the rivers that will take place, would be complemented with river training to abate flooding in communities close to these rivers.
Also planned are mineral mining expansion activities in Clarendon, as the Cemex (Rinker) group gets ready to increase its current two million tonnes per year operation to 12 million tones, with a US$300 million injection of investment capital.
Minister Robertson said all these developments will be conducted with full efforts to minimise negative impact on the environment.
The draft minerals policy is already in place to guide the process, and ensure that plans are incorporated into national planning and development. The Minister said his Ministry would work in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow Ministries and institutions, to ensure best practices are observed on all fronts with regard to the projects.

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