JIS News

Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited (JBM) is looking to commence work to upgrade the Ocho Rios Port during the current fiscal year.

This is according to the 2021/22 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which states that the exercise will serve to enhance the facility’s business activities while maximising revenue.

The document further indicates that the renovation will result in the establishment of a multipurpose facility that allows for continued loading and shipment of limestone and sugar as well as additional and larger cruise ships.

The engagement forms part of JBM’s efforts to continue stakeholder collaborations this year to promote responsible mining practices and speedy restoration of mined lands, all aimed at preserving the environment.

The JBM, which was incorporated as a limited liability company, holds 51 per cent equity, on behalf of the Government, in the operations of Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners in St. Ann.

Ownership of the 49 per cent shareholding, previously held by Noranda, was passed to New Day Aluminium in 2016.

JBM’s non-bauxite activities are concentrated at the Lydford Estate in St. Ann.

These include operation of the Ocho Rios port for the shipment of sugar, limestone and the servicing of cruise vessels as well as the management of the Reynolds Pier and the rental of properties.

The entity, which falls under the Ministry of Transport and Mining, forecasts a net surplus of $85.27 million.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) will, this year, focus on facilitating mining stakeholders in accessing bauxite reserves, while ensuring the rationalisation of these and full compliance with the governing regulations.

The details, as outlined in the Public Bodies Estimates, are consistent with the JBI’s plans to maintain its stakeholder partnerships as it seeks to execute its mandate of monitoring the bauxite and alumina industry.

The document indicates that in order to achieve the targeted objectives, the JBI will pilot rationalisation of the use of bauxite lands through prudent management and protection of these resources, compliance with established rehabilitation standards, and safeguarding the welfare of communities and residents affected by mining and alumina processing.

Additionally, the Institute will monitor bauxite and alumina refineries to ensure efficiency and full compliance with agreements and the relevant environmental regulations.

The entity projects $255.69 million in budgetary support from the Capital Development Fund to support its operations.

The JBI, which also falls under the Mining Ministry, was established by the Government as a regulatory, planning and development agency, mandated to manage sovereign aspects of successive Administrations’ participation in the bauxite/alumina industry.

Its functions also include providing technical advice and personnel for negotiation of various agreements; undertaking research and development activities on various matters relating to the processing of Jamaican bauxite and alumina; and monitoring and making recommendations to ensure adequate pollution controls and other environmental programmes in the industry.

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