By Okoye Henry
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited (JBM) will be undertaking a multi-million dollar commercial and industrial park development project in Lydford, St Ann, where the entity’s main activities are concentrated.
Minister of transport and mining Audley Shaw, made the disclosure following a tour of JBM’s operational sites in the parish on Friday, February 4, along with state minister, J.C. Hutchinson.
Shaw, who told JIS News that the project is slated to commence in 2022, indicated that the proposed commercial and industrial parks will feature, among other things, state-of-the art facilities designed to accommodate business process outsourcing (BPO), manufacturing, retail shops, and small and large warehouses.
“I’m very pleased about that, because it will create more jobs for the people in St Ann and adjoining areas,” he said.
The minister welcomed the entity’s “out of the box” approach, noting that “it is really outstanding and inspiring to see that although you’re still called the Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited, you’re into other things; and that shows the need for creativity and diversification.”
Shaw also visited the Lydford Mining Company in the parish, which extracts and processes high purity limestone products.
The minister said the aggregate material being produced is of a “high technological level”, noting that limestone is being processed into sand for commercial use.
“As you know, Jamaica has, probably, the largest area of limestone deposits in the entire region. So, it is something that we [the government] have to look at as one of the alternatives going forward, even as we have seen some somewhat of a decline in the bauxite/alumina business. So limestone is definitely one of the areas that we have to promote, and do so more aggressively,” Shaw stated.
The minister also highlighted the ongoing strong partnership between Reynolds Pier in Ocho Rios, which JBM operates, and the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).
“I’d like to congratulate the leadership of the Jamaica Bauxite Mining for its initiative on enterprise [and] showing us that they can pursue excellence,” Shaw pointed out.
Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited, which was incorporated in 1975, is a government-owned entity with a business enterprise mandate. The company holds 51 percent equity, on behalf of the Government, in the bauxite operations of its current partners, New Day Aluminium (Jamaica) Limited.