As the curtains come down on the Metal Bulletin 23rd Bauxite and Alumina Conference at the Conrad Hilton, hotel in Miami Florida on Thursday, Transport and Mining Minister, Lester “Mike” is upbeat about the turn-around in the mining sector for job creation and economic growth in Jamaica.
Minister Henry told the Conference that with new players emerging in the industry in Jamaica, there are new opportunities for the creation of over 1200 new direct jobs and over 5000 new indirect jobs. Minister Henry says the economic impact on the communities within the mining areas and the wider Jamaican economy is going to be significant and is expected to be in the region of 40% growth.
He says greater emphasis will be placed on the environment given the close proximity to areas of habitation and Jamaica’s growing Tourism Industry.
Minister Henry also disclosed that the CAP-NOBLE RESOURCES GROUP partnership has indicated its intention to build a new natural gas energy facility to improve JAMALCO’s competitiveness in the global market place.
According to Minister Henry, JISCO formerly ALPART is on track to start operations again on June 20. He says preparatory activities are in high gear and approximately 400 Jamaicans are now employed. He says JISCO is already sensitizing the communities around the plant and mining areas and there will be a huge demand for electrical, mechanical, civil and chemical engineers for operation and maintenance activities.
In concluding his message, Minister Henry used the opportunity to appeal to the organizers, to consider holding the 24th Conference either in Kingston or Montego Bay. In absentia his message was delivered by Paris Lyew-Ayee, Head of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute.