Tue | Mar 9, 2021

St Ann MC to investigate alleged mining breaches

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2021 | 7:12 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

Chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation (SAMC) and mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Sydney Stewart, says the corporation is to investigate claims that there are unauthorised mining operations in the parish.

The disclosure comes after enquiries by The Gleaner, following claims by a reader, that there were three unlicensed quarry operators in the parish.

This claim was made in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the granting of a permit by the Government to operate a quarry in the Puerto Bueno Mountains, near Discovery Bay, St Ann.

Contacted by The Gleaner regarding the veracity of the claim, the mayor of St Ann’s Bay said the corporation would seek to find answers.

“We will be checking to verify that,” Stewart told The Gleaner following the monthly meeting of the SAMC.

One-year Licence

The SAMC issues a one-year licence to companies or individuals to operate a river quarry, and a three-year licence to operate a limestone quarry. Such licences may be renewed upon successful application by the operator.

Information supplied by the SAMC show a total of 16 limestone mining operators on the books, with just two of them being currently registered.

These are Iron Mountains, located in Crescent Park, and whose licence will expire on October 31, 2024; and Cranlin Farms, in Cranbrook, whose licence will expire on October 16 this year.

The other 14 operators on the books had licences with expiry dates ranging from September 2008 to as late as October 2020.

Meanwhile, the government has amended the permit issued to Bengal Development Limited to do mining in Puerto Bueno Mountains to include the requirement for a $40 million performance bond to be paid within 30 days of the company getting the new document.

The amendment was among several new conditions contained in a new 76-condition permit issued on December 17, 2020.