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Ewarton mudlake to be rehabilitated

Published:Monday | January 4, 2016 | 1:00 AM

The mud lake at Mount Rosser in St Catherine will undergo full remediation and rehabilitation and will soon be forested.

Alcan, which deposited mud at the site when it operated plants at both Ewarton and the Kirkvine, is to undertake works in the area. The plants were subsequently sold to Glencore.

The entity, now called Rio Tinto Alcan by its new owners, has already conducted revegetation of their former bauxite residue tailing sites at Kirkvine and is currently undertaking similar work at their 40-hectare site at Mount Rosser.

In an advertisement in the print media yesterday, Rio Tinto said it is looking to recruit a self-motivated and experienced manager to lead this world-class, environmental, civil-engineering and water-treatment project.

"Rio Tinto demands best practice in its delivery of health, safety and environmental standards, and central to this is the leadership and development of its workforce, and contractors and its engagement with the local community and key stakeholders," the entity said.

Phillip Paulwell, the mining minister, told The Gleaner yesterday that the works to be undertaken by Alcan are to restore the mud lake to a "situation where vegetation would be able to grow on the location".

"It is really a model that we are going to be showcasing later this year. By the end of March, about 200 people globally will be coming to Jamaica because it is regarded as one of the best methods of reclaiming and rehabilitating the mud lakes," Paulwell said.

The minister said that the Jamaica Bauxite Insitute is satisfied that the works that have been undertaken have been done well and they are monitoring the works in Ewarton.

"They have completed the works at Kirkvine and it is envisaged that in another four to five years, the works at Ewarton will be completed," the minister said.

"After the mud is fully dried, top soil will be placed on it for trees to be planted," Paulwell said.