MONTEGO BAY — Residents from Westmoreland were on Thursday (Nov. 10) informed about Government's plans for the development of the minerals industry, as the Ministry of Energy and Mining continued its island-wide consultations on the 'Draft National Minerals Policy.'
Scores of residents, including students, teachers and Members of the Westmoreland Parish Council attended the session, which was held during the monthly sitting of the Council in Savanna-La-Mar.
The Government is putting in place a minerals policy to ensure effective management of the country’s mineral wealth and the development of the industry. The aim is to ensure that Jamaica’s mineral wealth supports national development and contributes to sustainable prosperity.
Principal Director in the Policy Planning and Development Division of the Ministry, Oral Rainford, told JIS News that some nine public consultations have being planned for communities across Jamaica.
He informed that the policy, which aligns with Vision 2030: The National Development Plan has "the prescriptive measures, especially as it relates to developing new segments of the industry."
He said it is important that Government sets out very clearly, what its policy positions are as they relate to the development of the minerals industry.
"Because the industry has been predominantly a bauxite and alumina industry, we now need to diversify the minerals industry, as we have large quantities of limestone and other minerals. This diversification, therefore, will not come about by effecting legislation only; there has to be a policy prescription to facilitate that and from policy to legislation," Mr. Rainford told JIS News.
He informed that if the comments garnered from the consultations were significantly different from those contained in the draft, then they would be factored in as inputs and contributions from the public.
By Glenis Rose, JIS Reporter