Students from several primary and secondary schools across the city, and representatives of various interest groups turned out for the Mines and Geology Division’s 150th anniversary Open Day, at Hope Gardens today (November 5).
The Open Day provided a close up look at the work of the division and a wide wealth of information offered by several related agencies and bodies, including the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, the Geological Society of Jamaica, the Scientific Research Council, the Water Resources Authority, and the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, who officially launched the day’s activities, noted that despite the need for cost cutting, the Division is one of the entities that must grow, “because it is only mines and geology that offers this country a true chance to produce, compete and to hold its real place in the sun.”
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (centre), is assisted by Senior Geologist at the Mines and Geology Division, Mrs. Ennika James-Holness, as he examines an item on display at the Mines and Geology Division’s 150th anniversary Open Day, held at Hope Gardens, today (November 5). At right is Commissioner of Mines, Mr. Clinton Thompson, who chaired the event.
“This sector (mining and geology), with the ability to export and save North America, in terms of putting limestone into their coal-burning operations to clean up their environment, offers untapped potential for us to earn,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Laurence Broderick, told the gathering that the Division, “like any other organization, has been through changes in its focus, scope and work over these 150 years, but one thing that has not changed is its drive for high standards, success, and a deep appreciation for the unearthing of hidden potentials in our land.”
Minister of Energy and Energy, Hon. James Robertson (right), discusses one of the displays on show at the launch of the Mines and Geology Division’s 150th anniversary Open Day, with Senior Scientific Officer, and marine geologist at the International Seabed Authority, Mr. Vijay Kodagal. The Open Day was held at Hope Gardens today (November 5).
He said the division has effectively managed the geological assets of the island, evidenced by its research and work. He further noted that having emerged out of a comprehensive geological and minerals survey which was commissioned in 1859, the Mines and Geology Division is the oldest such body in the Western hemisphere.
The Mines and Geology Division administers the mining and quarrying laws of the country, monitoring all prospecting, exploration, mining and quarrying operations. It also investigates, appraises, and communicates information on all aspects of geology. The Division’s mandate is to develop a comprehensive scientific understanding of the island, and to guide the development of the minerals industry.