Jamaican Government Promises Increase In Return Of Bauxite Lands To Former Owners

Jamaican Government Promises Increase In Return Of Bauxite Lands To Former Owners

The Jamaican government said last week it will take steps to hasten the retitling of land previously used for bauxite mining activities to those who were relocated from the land.

On Wednesday, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague said that it would utilize the Bauxite and Alumina Industries (Special Provisions) Act to speed the process. He was speaking on the floor of the Jamaican legislature in the annual Sectoral Debate.

“As we developed our bauxite industry over the years, in many instances, families were relocated, given new homes and new lands, while their titled lands were taken in order to facilitate mining activities. Many of these persons have been waiting for decades to get a land title for the new lands they now occupy. The process has been slow over the years.”

“We intend to […] speed up this land titling process by using the power of vesting orders, contained in the Act,” continued Montague.

Montague also said that the “important matter” was under the jurisdiction of State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Mining William J.C. Hutchinson.

Jamaica has been mining bauxite since 1943, when the Second World War sent the Allies scrambling for aluminium resources. The first bauxite ore was shipped in 1952, as demand rose with the United States’ entry into the Korean War. Production peaked in the 1960s, when the island was the world’s most prolific producer of bauxite ore.