Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Jamaica selected for global minerals programme

Published:Friday | December 16, 2016 | 12:20 AM

Jamaica is poised to tap into new global and domestic mineral markets through a capacity building programme that will help small-scale operators transform deposits of underutilised minerals into everyday goods and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and housing.

Under the global programme, Jamaica is the only country in the region and is among six from the African Caribbean and Pacific group selected for a €750,000 grant.

The programme targets small scale private operators and institutions and boosts their capacity to sustainably extract and transform locally sourced minerals into manufacturing, construction and agricultural products.

The products include toothpaste, jewellery's, sculptures and construction material.

The United Nations Development Programme says these ‘development minerals’ nurture homegrown jobs, especially for the youth and women, boost local manufacturing and enterprise and are essential for rural economic development.

According to the UNDP Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat mining and quarrying create jobs and generate income in poor, rural communities and benefit sectors like tourism, agriculture, housing and environmental management which are essential for national development.

Puezat says greater attention will be needed to restore and rehabilitate mined out lands and put them to more productive uses.