Find Mining expertise in Jamaica
Jamaica has a more diverse range of minerals than many of the islands in the Caribbean. Limestone is Jamaica’s most abundant mineral; other minerals include alumina, bauxite, and mineral fuels, gypsum, marble, gold, clay, salt, sand and gravel, marl and silica sand. The mining and processing of bauxite accounts for about 10% of the country’s GDP (2008).
According to the UN’s World Investment Report (2011), in 2010 Jamaica received a total of USD$201 million in Foreign Direct Investment. Although this figure was down on previous years due to the global financial crisis, interest in the mining sector is reported to be increasing and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is making mining one of its priority industries for investment.
The metal minerals sector is dominated by bauxite which can be used to make aluminium and is an important export for Jamaica. The government owns shares in bauxite and alumina resources which are marketed and traded by The Jamaica Bauxite (JBM) and the Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company of Jamaica Ltd (BATCO). After seven consecutive quarters of growth, the mining sector reported a 5.5% decline in 2012 as a result of an 8.4% fall in bauxite production.
The Jamaican mining and minerals industry has the advantage of being one of the leading minerals based economies in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and has an established history of mining and manufacturing. The industry is however weakened by its heavy dependence on bauxite and alumina and an increase of illegal quarrying.
In 2011 the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications issued a developed a National Policy on Minerals Development 2010-2030 which set out the state of the industry and the ways in which the industry can be developed. There has historically been an emphasis on reusing land after it has been mined which is often planted with grass, trees and fruit trees.
The Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications is responsible for the mining sector in Jamaica. The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) maintains up-to-date information on bauxite and alumina, and undertakes research and analysis of data and trends in the industry.
The vast majority (90%) of organisations in mining and minerals are domestically owned. Leading foreign-owned companies include the Jamaica Gypsum and Quarries Itd (a subsidiary of the Caribbean Cement Company), Chemical Lime and Rugby Jamaica Lime and Minerals Ltd.
Activity in the mining sector is governed by the Mining Act, Quarries Control Act and the Minerals (Vesting Act).
Jamaica’s quarrying industry primarily focuses on construction materials and cement production for local use and export. Limestone quarries found on Long Mountain, situated overlooking Kingston, provide the main component found in construction materials, but can also be used in the agricultural industry.
Clay, silica sands and gypsum are some of the other resources found in the country but are mainly quarried in small-scale efforts for the local market.