Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, says the Ministry has granted some 90 exploratory licences for semiprecious minerals, such as cobalt, copper, gold, silver and zinc, since March 2018.
“Right now, almost every square inch of Jamaica is under a prospecting licence for some kind of mineral. The beauty of it is that most of the companies that are prospecting… are Jamaican-owned. So if [for example] gold is found… in commercial quantities, the profits will stay here,” he said.
“So if [for example] gold is found… in commercial quantities, the profits will stay here.”— Montague
The Minister assured, however, that the Government is encouraging and facilitating the exploitation of minerals “in a very sustainable and structured way.”
He was speaking at a Corporate Governance Seminar at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew on Thursday, November 14.
Montague said that in a bid to encourage the mining of semiprecious minerals, the Ministry’s Mines and Geology Division hosted a series of workshops and training seminars for industry stakeholders.
These, he indicated, formed part of the three-year €13.1-million African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Development Minerals Programme.
This capacity-building initiative, conceptualised by the ACP Group of States, aims to enhance the profile and improve the management of development minerals. These include industrial minerals, construction materials, and dimension and semiprecious stones.
The engagement is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which jointly finances it with the EU.