Bauxite workers express concern over PNP's 'anti-mining' position

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Bauxite workers express concern over PNP's 'anti-mining' position

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Noranda Bauxite workers on Friday pressed the Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips to clarify the People's National Party's (PNP) position on the on-going Cockpit Country anti-bauxite mining campaign, which they said is misrepresenting the facts and could have negative effects on their jobs and the industry.

According to reports, the employees met Dr Phillips while he was on a tour of Noranda's Bauxite mining area in St Ann on his way to a Cockpit Country Warriors public vigil scheduled for Stewart Town Friday night.

The Opposition Leader's tour was interrupted by scores of employees who posed questions on the party's position regarding mining in the Special Mining Lease (SML) 173, the report said.

The employees argued that the SML 173 area has been officially confirmed by Government mining regulatory agencies as being outside of the Cockpit Country Protected Area.

They reiterated that Noranda is not and has no plans to mine in the protected areas; that Noranda shares the national respect and concern for the heritage of that area; and reminded that bauxite mining provides a livelihood for not only hundreds of Jamaicans at Noranda but also several thousand community residents in areas where the company operates, the report said.

Dr Phillips, in response, told the employees that the Opposition was not against bauxite mining, but instead wished at all times for sustainable and responsible mining that takes into consideration the benefits and the welfare of all stakeholders, the report added.

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