Jamaica’s Mining Minister Robert Montague lauded Noranda Bauxite for its responsible land reclamation efforts last week, noting the success the firm has had in refurbishing former mining sites for use as agricultural and water storage lands.
Commenting at Noranda Bauxite’s Agriculture Education Industry Exposition in St. Ann on Thursday, Montague reiterated his government’s commitment to continuing bauxite land reclamation continue as well.
“We are committed to a programme that we call in the (mining) ministry ‘Life after Bauxite’, because… we have been mining bauxite for 60 years, (and) one day the bauxite is going to come to an end, and there has to be life after bauxite.”
Montague continued by noting the importance of Noranda’s land reclamation efforts, saying that the primary goal was to convert that land for agricultural use.
“We are also using some of the mined-out pits as water reservoirs, because there are many communities that suffer from a shortage of water, and Jamaica don’t have a shortage of water,” he said.
“What we have is a shortage of storing and distributing water, because we have enough water… Noranda is leading on that in terms of using the lining of the pits and having them filled with water, and I want to congratulate Noranda on that.”
Noranda is showing the world that reclaimed land can also be used to create viable businesses when coupled with greenhouse technology as well, he noted.
Following up on Montague’s comments was Minister without portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry, JC Hutchinson, who congratulated farmers of reclaimed lands on the wide variety of successful crops grown on the tracts.
“It is wonderful to see the products that are coming from these mined-out lands, and I must say that when I see some of them there, they are rivalling the products that are coming from South St Elizabeth, especially the red peas, scallions and thyme…,” he observed.