Transport and Mining Minister, Mike Henry, says the mineral sector is to generate some 22,000 jobs indirectly over the next two to three years.
The Mining Minister says these jobs are to be made possible by a number of investments, including one to the tune of $3-billion by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company, JISCO, in the Alpart aluminium plant it recently acquired.
Mr. Henry says JISCO will invest in a number of projects including the creation of a 230-megawatt liquid natural gas, LNG, power plant and a new 2-million ton aluminium plant.
Minister Henry says the growth and development of the aluminium industry will radically transform the south-central section of the island.
He says the first shipment of aluminium from Alpart is already on the wharf and is to be exported next month.
He also disclosed that JAMALCO in Clarendon will break ground in a few weeks to construct a 120-megawatt LNG power plant.
Minister Henry says this will create over 1,000 jobs. He says he’s also confident that increased construction will create more demand for cement and other items made possible by mining.
In the meantime, Minister Henry says he’ll take to Cabinet, a submission for a National Mineral Policy.
He says he’s hoping the matter can be debated in parliament soon.
The Minister says the mining sector is the largest producer of goods and the third largest foreign exchange earner.
However, he says the sector is under-appreciated by some Jamaicans.
Minister Henry says the National Mineral Policy focuses on diversity in the mining sector and how it’s developed.
Minister Henry says the National Mineral Policy embraces sustainable development and also takes environmental issues into consideration.