THERE have been mixed reactions from Jamaica Observer online readers to an announcement by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell of a $3-billion pilot project by Japanese firm Nippon Light Metal Company Limited to extract rare earth oxides from Jamaica's red mud. Paulwell made the announcement in Parliament Tuesday, noting that the commodity is being traded at rates of up to US$3,500 per kilogramme. Here are some comments:
I really don't want to sound like a killjoy, but a full Environmental Impact Assessment must be done before these documents are signed.
This may sound good but lets make sure we protect Jamaica.
You are kidding? Have you seen the red mud lakes in Jamaica? You want a conversation about the horses and the barn, after the barn was long burnt and the horses killed.
This would truly be a great discovery. However, I have learned to withhold applause just for announcements.
Fooled me once, shame on you.
Just ensure that the proper due diligence is carried out.
I am left wondering why did it take Japanese to come tell us that? KMT.
Talk about the right man in the in the wrong job. Phillip [Paulwell] should be Jamaica's Minister for Foreign Investment & Trade. We need investments to generate revenue. Phillip, good job on that deal but I feel your skills are much more required to find investors to come in Jamaica and restore economic confidence.
One of the problems with this admin (and there are many) is that with a few exceptions, most are in positions they are not qualified for or had no experience in and others are simply placed through party loyalty.
Obviously you all don't want to hear this, but this is snake oil. This 'pilot project' will amount to nothing; it's a PR announcement intended to quell displeasure with the PNP. Fool me once, you're bad. Fool me twice, I'm an idiot.
Thanks be to God! Hurry it up Mr Paulwell.
Having " enough red mud" is no reason to balk at the possibility of increased revenue for the country. Although this seems to be one of those investments that will inevitably eventually benifit the country, I hope the proper precautions are being taken and the proper research is being done on the Government's part to ensure that at the end of the 20-year agreement, we are not left with the short end of the stick. Things like long-term environmental effects, relocation of residents within the intended mining sites, and the effects of these things -- if they are not managed efficiently (to the advantage of the people, not necessarily the Government) -- must be made clear.
You've all bought his 'talk'. Remember the IT miracle that was going to happen some years ago? What happened to that? Remember the Western Sports debacle a few years ago? Another 'scheme' from the minister with 'youthful exuberance'. Wait till the millions are in the bank, then you can sing your praises. You all must learn to compliment achievements, not promises and talk.
Mr Paulwell, you are banking on a by-product of alumina production. Who will be responsible for the alumina production? If the NOW resident producers of alumina do NOT see it feasible to CONTINUE Alumina Production, WHAT THEN? Please do not give another hope like LNG. I hope you have placed ALL possibilities on the TABLE or/and THE FLOOR.
Once again applauding announcements. I have seen this over and over again big announcements that bring national disaster... Cricket World Cup, Harmony Cove, gold mining in Clarendon, off-shore oil exploration, Operation Pride, Finsac, NetServ, People Power, etc, etc.
Time to dust off my "Learn Japanese the Easy Way" books. It would have been nice if our own research teams were able to come up with this discovery. Perhaps, with some of the transfer of technology ,or own research can come up with a way of unlocking the large quantities of titanium in a cost-effective manor.