JIS News

President of the Mines and Quarries Association of Jamaica, Anthony Morgan, has said that quarrying was one of the most sustainable economic activities that could be undertaken in Jamaica.
He was speaking yesterday (Dec. 5) at the opening of a two-day workshop to look at sustainable quarrying in Jamaica. The workshop, which ends today, is organized by the Mines and Geology Division in association with the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Centre for Development Enterprise (CDE) and the Mines and Quarries Association of Jamaica and is being held at JAMPRO’s Trafalgar Road offices in Kingston.
Mr. Morgan was speaking against the background of concerns that the concept of sustainable quarrying was oxymoronic or contradictory.
“If quarrying is done properly and if the Division (Mines and Geology) examines the details of the mining plans that are submitted to them, where it shows what will be the post quarrying use of the land, you will find that most of the time, what the quarrying does is enhance the land. It increases the future earning potential because most of the time what you are doing is taking land that can’t be used for anything and transforming it whether for recreational or residential purposes,” he asserted.
Continuing, Mr. Morgan noted that the industry was in a transition stage, moving away from being a subsistent form of activity that used to be largely associated with poverty alleviation to “be part of a major wealth creation effort that is taking place in the country.”
“It means that for the industry to become globally competitive, the individual units that make up the industry must be profitable units that can meet all the demands that is required for industrial activity in this globalised world,” he stated. Mr. Morgan pointed out that environmental control was an integral part of this process. “This seminar is very opportune because what it means is that out of this, maybe in the larger operations, there are going to be people who will be able to do environmental audits. It is very vital for the survival of the industry. Good environmental practice will always lead to increased profitability for the individual operator.”
Most importantly, he pointed out, one of the things that was being missed, even in the effort to tap into the export market, was the fact that the operators had to meet some form of international environmental practice standard.
The workshop in Kingston is part of three being held across the island, involving quarry operators in all 14 parishes. Other meetings will be held in Clarendon and St. Ann. The objectives of the workshops are to make operators aware of the impact of quarrying on the environment; discuss possible solutions to environmental problems; deal with complaints; discuss methods/techniques of improving plant/equipment performance; discuss basic health and safety issues in the quarrying environment; and how to carry out risk assessment.