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Henry applauds 15% bauxite growth but laments provision of land titles for re-settlers

Monday, March 12, 2018

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ST ANDREW, Jamaica — Transport and Mining Minister, Lester “Mike” Henry, has welcomed the 15 per cent growth in the bauxite/mining sector for the last quarter of last year, but is not happy with the rate at which land titles are being delivered to re-settled vendors.

According to Henry, the positive impact of the resurgence of the bauxite/mining industry on the economy is timely.

“Every indication so far, points to an even bigger percentage growth by the end of the second quarter this year,” said Henry, against the background that ALPART/JISCO shipped another 30,000 tonnes of alumina last week.

Another projected 50,000 more tonnes will be shipped by the end of this month, following closely on the first shipment of 35,000 tonnes on December 29, last year.

However, the mining minister indicated that he is not happy with the rate at which land titles are being prepared and delivered to individuals, who have been re-settled by the mining companies.

As at the end of last year there were in excess of 4,000 individual titles that are yet to be processed and finalised for delivery to new property owners.

This was revealed, as he met with representatives of the mining companies and other key stakeholders at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston over the weekend.
Henry added that while it is understandable that there are many legacy cases to contend with, it is unacceptable that rate at which these are being settled, does not fit into Government’s Agenda to empower people, by helping them to unlock the value of the lands they occupy.

“A multi-sector approach is necessary to significantly reduce the backlog of cases this year,” said Henry as he disclosed that he has pulled together, the National Land Agency, NEPA, LAMP, the Fire Services, National Works Agency, National Water Commission, the Municipal Corporations, National Solid Waste Management Authority, Water Resources Authority and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in a joined up approach to resolve the issues in the fastest possible time.

Henry said while he will be doing everything in his power to improve the situation, prospective recipients of titles, who have outstanding decisions to be made among siblings and other family beneficiaries, must do so in the shortest possible time to assist in the process.




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