Mining Minister, Robert Montague, says the government will be increasing the length of time granted under most mining licenses to 10 years.
Minister Montague says although the mining industry is one of the major drivers of economic growth in Jamaica, access to the industry through financial institutions is restricted.
He says the move to extend the licensing period is geared to changing some of these restrictions.
Minister Montague says the government will determine the length of a mining license depending on the operators’ experience in the field.
He says those operators who want to do in-river mining will continue to be restricted to 1 year licenses. He says this move is aimed at protecting the environment.
Meanwhile, Minister Montague says a new university degree in mining engineering will be offered by two of the nation’s universities.
Minister Montague was speaking today at the Final Conference for Development Minerals in Jamaica.
The conference brought to a close the African Caribbean Pacific Group of States and European Union Development Minerals Programme.