Business

Jamaica Aggregates to open limestone plant on North Coast

By Julian Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator richardsonj@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 10, 2013    

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ST THOMAS, Jamaica - Jamaica Aggregates Limited (JAL), a mining outfit based in St Thomas, has invested US$6 million ($591 million) in a limestone plant that the company aims to open by the end of 2013.

JAL's director, John Valentine told Caribbean Business Report that the limestone operation will be based on the North Coast.

"It will be a limestone operation and will be producing extremely high grade limestones. The plant should have a capacity in the region of 200 tonnes per hour and should produce material of a quality for exporting," Valentine said.

He noted that the company already has the site and equipment in place and only awaits the neccessary permits.

"We are in the process of doing the NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) application now," he said. "Hopefully we should see something happening down there later down in the year."

A joint venture between premix concrete supplier Jamaica Pre-Mix and French industrial company Lafarge, JAL is a leading aggregates producer in Jamaica. It operates quarries and produces high quality sand and stone in large quantities from a state-of-the-art crushing plant on 600 acres of land in Yallahs, St Thomas. The facility runs four high-performance crushers — two HP 300 and two HP 200 secondary and tertiary crushers.

In addition to the plant at Yallahs, JAL has two inactive plants at Paul Mountain and Martha Brae. With an aggressive export thrust planned out of Yallahs, the firm plans to open the plant at Paul Mountain in St Catherine, where it would replace production of stones at Yallahs for the local market.

Jamaica Aggregates in 2012 exported approximately 130,000 tonnes of aggregates to the US, where the housing and road building markets are rebounding, and countries across the region. The company has projected that its recent acquisition of Florida Department of Transportation approval to export directly to Florida, will enable it to double annual exports within the next year, with volumes hitting 600,000 tonnes and revenues reaching US$20 million annually by 2014.

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