Montague urges bauxite firms to address dust nuisance

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague is asking bauxite firms to address the issue of dust nuisance affecting mining communities.

The minister, who has been meeting with representatives of bauxite/alumina firms on a number of issues, said in a release yesterday that he is continuing discussions with them in an effort to find viable solutions to concerns within the industry.

He met Thursday with the top management of Jiquan Iron and Steel (JISCO)/Alpart in Nain, St Elizabeth and spoke to issues concerning environmental factors, such as the dust nuisance and the rehabilitation of mined-out lands, the supply of water to surrounding communities and protection of the jobs of the employees.

He said he learnt that, as part of efforts to suppress the dust nuisance, JISCO/Alpart has already installed a sprinkler system, which keeps the storage area moist and less susceptible to wind action. The company is also in the process of purchasing several water cannons to further assist with dust suppression.

The release said that the minister urged that more ways be explored to suppress dust, even as JISCO/Alpart has introduced new measures such as geo-synthetic fabric to cover some 32 acres of its main red mud disposal area. It was determined that this was a temporary solution and more permanent solutions are being explored.

The release noted that for many years Alpart has supplied piped and trucked water to surrounding communities, but Montague has mandated that more viable solutions be developed to eliminate the trucking of water which is proving to be costly.

The minister, the release said, reaffirmed his commitment to the people of Jamaica, as well as the bauxite and alumina partners, to see to the safe and effective extraction of the mineral and the manufacturing of alumina, as important aspects of the Jamaican economy.


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