Cockpit Mining Irresponsible & Gross Breach of Trust – Williams
Senator Alexander Williams, the Opposition Spokesman on Land and the Environment has noted with alarm, the possible incursion by the government-owned Noranda Bauxite Company into the Cockpit Country, for the purpose of mining.
Senator Williams said: “Now more than ever, at a time of drought with fires raging in several communities across the island, the Minister responsible for the environment needs to be especially careful to protect the nation’s potable water supply.
The Cockpit Country aquifers are the source of roughly 40% of water production in Jamaica, and any damage caused by mining in that area will be permanent."
He continued: “It is grossly irresponsible for mining to be allowed in that area, and these warnings have been given by the National Environment and Planning Agency, the Jamaica Environmental must, and other stakeholders. This has been the conclusion arrived at in several studies."
Senator Williams further noted that despite the Cockpit Country being recognized as an area in need of special protection, and despite several recommendations, the government has still not defined its official boundaries.
He said "While we await the response of Noranda Bauxite, I am calling upon the Minister of the Environment to ensure that all steps being taken now to do any mining in the area immediately cease, and that he takes the necessary steps now to officially define the cockpit country."