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Jamaica: Green Light For Bauxite Mining In Cockpit Country

In spite of potential long-term deforestation, bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country is likely to offer a game-changing fillip to the Jamaican economy, at least in the short term, if the Government allows Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners II (NJBP II) to mine 8,335 hectares of land, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) has said.

Noranda’s plan to mine an area identified as Special Mining Lease (SML) 173 has been dogged by controversy, with environmentalists and farmers wary of potential devastation to the ecologically sensitive area.

“This is a major contribution to maintaining NJBP II’s operations and a critically important contribution to Jamaica’s economy overall, and more specifically, foreign exchange earnings, GDP growth, and employment,” the EIA, prepared by Conrad Douglas & Associates, reads.

The review acknowledged that the Jamaican economy was at a very sensitive juncture and could be subject to exogenous and endogenous shocks.

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