Gov’t pushing for limestone production plant
The Government has heightened discussions with private-sector interests to develop a limestone production facility to boost export and to provide services to refineries.
Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, who made the disclosure at a JAMPRO-organised Limestone Opportunities Network Forum, held Tuesday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, said the development is to “ensure the viability” of the sector.
“Lime is one of the critical components in the refining process; a little is produced locally, and most of that is exported,” Montague told the forum.
He pointed out that Jamaica has “an abundance” of limestone, and the deliberations with the private sector should result in a fortified minerals industry.
Montague noted that Jamaica is a “world leader” in the industry with the country producing material valued over $5.6 billion in 2018 and export earnings of US$5 million.
“Jamaica’s minerals industry has several strengths, which afford it the ability to attract investments, provide employment and create wealth. In addition, the sector represents a critical component in the country’s development, and Jamaica is an island that is gifted with excellent mineral resources,” he said.
He told the gathering that the mining and quarrying sector is a major contributor to the economic growth and development of Jamaica, particularly in the area of foreign exchange earnings.