Opposition Demands Full Answers on Minning Industry - Montague
Shadow Minister on Mining and Energy, Senator Robert Montague, is calling for full disclosure on issues surrounding mining in the Cockpit Country, following allegations of mining in the protected area.
In a statement today, the Senator said, “The allegations have revealed that there are major issues of concern, but the response of the Government so far is weak and inconclusive.” He continued, “Firstly, the Cockpit Country is a protected area; secondly, it is from there that 40% of Jamaica’s water comes from and thirdly, it is home to many protect species of plants."
Noting that the government had given a firm undertaking not to allow mining in the area, Senator Montague asserted, “The government must accept the traditional boundaries of the Cockpit Country and take all necessary steps to prevent mining and associated activities”. He added, “We are therefore calling on the government to make public any agreement, permit or licences it has with Noranda Mining Company, regarding permission for mining. We in the Opposition also want NEPA and the Mining and Geology department to have a permanent monitoring presence in the sensitive and protected area”.
In concluding, the Shadow Minister stated, “We owe the future generations of Jamaicans nothing less. We are demanding that the government be open, transparent and accountable in this matter. The lives and livelihood of many poor and vulnerable families are dependent on keeping the Cockpit Country safe. The water supplies of many communities are dependent on keeping mining activities out of the Cockpit Country. The government must take the necessary steps to protect one of Jamaica’s purest natural treasures”.