Jamaican bauxite producer Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners recently completed a reservoir in St. Ann dedicated to combating the ever-present bauxite dust problem by wetting the roads over which transport trucks travel.
Jamaica’s Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague inaugurated the new reservoir, which holds about 17 million gallons of water, on December 21. The cost of the reservoir totaled US$800,000.
Montague noted that the reservoir was built in response to continued complaints by the community about bauxite ore dust. The new reservoir will allow Noranda to continue to wet the roads in the area, where it distributes up to 70 thousand gallons of water each day.
“So, it is a major investment by Noranda in response to the cries of community members. There is a submersible pump, the place is well lit and fenced to keep people away,” he explained.
The situation prior to the construction of the reservoir was significantly less than ideal. In order to continue road-wetting activities, large tanker trucks had to make the trip from the coast to bring in the necessary water.
“The situation also means that for Noranda [Jamaica Bauxite] Partners it will cost them less, because they have to be hauling water from Discovery Bay to wet the road and it is a very expensive proposition.”
“Also, there is a road safety issue as these large trucks with water coming up the hill impede normal Jamaicans going about their business as they have to come from Discovery Bay up to Brown’s Town and so even the tour buses going to Nine Miles are impacted,” Montague continued.
Meanwhile, Vice President and Country Manager for Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners Delroy Dell said that his firm has desired such a reservoir for over 20 years.
“So, I am very pleased and happy that we are able to complete this very important project and put us in a very strong position, that as our mining footprint expands, we are able to manage any additional requirements for dusting,” he opined.