JIS News

The first in a series of workshops focusing on issues connected to the rehabilitation of mined out lands was held yesterday (June 7), at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
“We have been trying to get all the parties in the mining industry together.because we plan to work and deal with a lot of concerns and to find solutions. Dealing with bauxite reclamation is very important to us and that is why we try to get the right players who can bring the right sort of approaches to the table,” General Manager of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, Parris Lyew-Ayee told the participants.
Mr. Lyew-Ayee reminded them that mining has been going on in Jamaica for more than 50 years.
“In spite of this fact, there are still a lot of misconceptions and myths connected to bauxite land restoration. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that the true story be told,” he said.
Mr. Lyew-Ayee stressed that if the “right approach” was adopted, then all the stakeholders in the bauxite sector could benefit in some tangible way from the land restoration programme.
“One of our primary aims is to make sure that all the regulators, users and operators are all winners and not losers, and so the first thing we have to do is to identify what the concerns are and to see if we can work out the solutions. This workshop will serve to bring about a better understanding of what the various parties are doing. The Commissioner of Lands is going to lay the platform as far as the law is concerned; we will get the experience of each company and we also will be making a presentation on mine closure,” he pointed out.
In his presentation, the Commissioner of Mines, Coy Roache gave a breakdown of legislation relevant to the land restoration process.
He informed that a number of new amendments had been made to the Mining Act, recently.
“Previously there were some little things within the regulation, for example the word sector, which has been replaced by the word pit, with a full description. Another amendment is in regard to the time in which restoration must be done; it is now down to three years,” he said.
The Commissioner pointed out that the penalty in regard to non-compliance had also been increased.
Other presentations were made by representatives from Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART), JAMALCo, St. Ann Bauxite and WINDALCo.
The workshop was organised jointly by the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) and the Mines and Geology Department of the Ministry of Land and Environment.

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