MIIC Official Encourages Investment in Limestone & Non-Metallic Minerals

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Mrs. Beverly Rose-Forbes encouraged investors to consider value added business opportunities in Jamaica’s substantial proven reserves of 150 billion tonnes of limestone and other high quality non-metallic minerals.

The Permanent Secretary was speaking at the JAMPRO-organised inaugural Jamaica Mining Industry Investment Conference which was held under the theme ‘Creating Employment, Generating Wealth and Facilitating Development’ at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.  According to Beverly Rose-Forbes, from a business standpoint focus should be given to the country’s rich mineral endowments such as limestone, gypsum, marble and other semi-precious stones.

Jamaica’s minerals and mining industry has traditionally been one of the prime examples of a global value chain, especially in light of the sector’s dominance over the years as a major exporter of bauxite/alumina to global markets and a mass employer. Rose-Forbes encouraged investors present, as well as members of the mining industry to consider the business opportunities that will manifest in limestone processing plants and distribution systems.

“There is vast potential for limestone mining, quarrying and export of limestone, both in its primary form and as value-added ground calcium carbonate and precipitate and calcium carbonate,” Rose-Forbes said. “Our intention must be to go for our share of the lucrative US market that will be over 25 million tonnes in 10 years’ time, and the Canadian market that will have demand for some 2.3 million tonnes of limestone.”

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Philip Paulwell shared similar sentiments stating, “It is our goal to highlight the current and potential contribution of the mining and minerals sector to the economy and development, and to show the many opportunities for investment, both to large and small investors alike.”

According to Paulwell in the past 30 years, the minerals and mining industry has annually contributed at least 2.5% of Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry is Jamaica’s third largest earner of foreign exchange; in 2012 the entire industry (both the bauxite and industrial minerals) earned Jamaica approximately US $315 million, while the value of total exports amounted to over US $660 million.

Ricardo Durrant, Manager of Manufacturing, Energy & Mining at JAMPRO is pleased with the positive reactions from persons who attended the conference. He said, “in welcoming the over 100 local and international participants to the conference expressed the hope that it will reduce the knowledge deficit that persons have of investing in mining in Jamaica and also provide persons with potential investment in limestone, marble and semi-precious stones.”

The Jamaica Mining Industry Investment Conference aims to create awareness of the minerals industry among the local and international business community and to attract value-added investment. The conference was organised by the investment and trade agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (M-STEM) as part of National Minerals Week 2013.  

The conference saw presentations from Dr. Oral Rainford from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining on ‘The Marble Industry: Mining the Potential in the Marble Industry’, Mr. Leo Cousins Managing Director of Lydford Mining Company presented on ‘The Limestone Industry: An Investor’s Perspective, ‘The Minerals Sector: Trends, Challenges & Opportunities’ by Dr. Conrad Douglas, President & CEO of Conrad Douglas & Associates and a presentation from Claude Duncan, Vice President of Investment Promotions at JAMPRO. 

Source: 
JAMPRO
Published Date: 
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Show on Homepage: 
No