The Policies at a Glance - Mining
The National Minerals Policy 2014-2030 puts forward the objectives and strategies for the sustainable development of Jamaica’s Minerals Sector.
SECTION 1 – Jamaica’s Minerals Sector
Bauxite and alumina have provided a firm foundation for the entire Jamaican economic and social development. After more than 50 years of mining there are still huge quantities of high quality bauxite available. More recently, the occurrence of limestone of exceptional quality and immense volumes has come into focus, given the close proximity of the North American market. The skills, knowledge and experiences gained from the prestigious bauxite mining history will facilitate the development of new mineral sub-sectors. Together with these and other potential new mineral resources, the bauxite/alumina industries will also continue to be of major significance to Jamaica’s future economic transformation. Not only is mining a solid base to the national economy, but it is vital to Jamaica’s economic diversification because of its impact on, and linkages with other sectors. Jamaica’s minerals operations are located primarily in rural and semi-rural areas and therefore play a major role in providing the livelihood of a large number of persons in these communities.
SECTION 2 - Jamaica’s Minerals Sector towards 2030
The minerals sector represents a critical component in the development of all countries, such as Jamaica, that are endowed with mineral resources. The National Minerals Policy has been developed through extensive consultations. It is based on the firm belief that a profitable and well-functioning mining industry will contribute to sustainable development. Underlying is the vision that by 2030, Jamaica’s mineral sector will be:
“A modern, diversified, integrated and efficient minerals Industry which promotes economic development, environmental integrity and socio-cultural values, improves our human resource capabilities, and adds significant value to the economy.”
With a continued strong global demand for mineral resources, the minerals sector can continue to play an important role in Jamaica. However, mining is a global industry and Jamaica’s mining sector must be structured to grow and change with the ever changing international market conditions.
To achieve the 2030 vision of Jamaica’s minerals sector, the necessary investors, operators and other key actors must be attracted. This will require joint efforts within government, and also with industry and society as a whole.
SECTION 3 – The Mining Policy Framework
The National Minerals Policy recognizes that a modern and vibrant minerals sector must be based on a well-functioning mining industry. A healthy mining industry can ignite manufacturing, backward and forward integration into the local economy, import substitution, production and export of greater quantities of value-added products. This must be backed by strong institutions, modern legislation, strategic investment and use of profits and revenues derived from the sector and coexistence with other interests throughout the economy. Within the minerals sector, the bauxite/alumina sector has been and will continue to be the backbone.
Aligned to the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan, the Strategic Framework is designed to address and overcome the main barriers to development in the minerals sector. It addresses the following key issues:
- Restoring the international competitiveness of the bauxite and alumina industry as the component of the minerals sector that is currently the most mature, well-developed and economically important.
- Strengthening the supporting framework for the development of the minerals sector.
- Fostering the growth of new segments of the minerals sector, namely industrial minerals, base and and precious metals-sectors over the medium to long term.
- Enhancing the sector’s corporate-social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
The National Minerals Policy lays forward a number of goals that will be the implementation tools of the minerals sector’s vision. The broad goals are supported by Key Actions in the short/medium and long term:
Goal 1 - Sustainable mining for economic development.
Goal 2 - Enabling business environment.
Goal 3 - Environment, health and safety and socio-economic effects secured.
Goal 4 – Training and education for effective mining and increased R & D.
Goal 5 – Economic benefit optimisation/Fiscal regime
SECTION 4 – Moving Forward
A continuous programme of monitoring and evaluation, involving relevant stakeholders from the public sector and the private sector, will be implemented. The Ministry responsible will use several indicators to assess the effectiveness of the National Minerals Policy in achieving these goals. These indicators will form the basis for the review and for possible changes to the policy framework. The policy will first be evaluated after three years. The National Mineral Policy will be updated in light of progress achieved, to assess whether or not amendments in policy are required. Sustainable development criteria – economic, environmental and social priorities - will be used to guide strategy in a balanced way.
There is a need for assertive action. The goals set in this National Minerals Policy are important and provide guidance on how to develop Jamaica’s mineral sector. Transforming these goals into action will be an even more important task to ensure sustainable development in Jamaica.