Water hope

Water hope

Search for gold turns up possible solution to Jamaica’s drought problem


Thursday, June 06, 2019

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A search for precious metals in several areas of the island has produced an unexpected windfall — the discovery of what is believed to be large bodies of water which could solve the annual drought problem which plagues the island.

Geophysx Jamaica is conducting a search for precious metals, including gold, in sections of six parishes across the island, and Robert “Bobby” Stewart, the man leading the company, says its detailed hunt has led to the finding of large areas of possible potable water.

“We have been tasking various radar satellites to model the island and we have done a lot of specific tasking to our needs of the island, which gives us various ways of seeing what’s under the surface. And in going through that work in the past month we have realised that we have been able to see what seems to be deposits of water,” Stewart told the Jamaica Observer.

“It’s a special radar band, and in seeing that we have offered our assistance to the Government, for free, to help them find new sources of water,” added Stewart.

He said the company has already created maps in the area around Port Royal and stretching to Portmore, St Catherine, where there are possible water sources.

“We will end up doing the island and giving the Government some maps that show them areas that have potential and which seem to show water. This will give the Government the ability to zone in on areas quicker because right now it is more trial and error and it is very expensive to drill for water,” added Stewart as he provided further details following an announcement by Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague during his contribution to the sectoral debate on Tuesday.

Montague told the House of Representatives that through a partnership with Geophysx Jamaica, the Government was updating its geological maps so when new investors come to search for minerals, they do not have to reinvent the wheel.

“Furthermore, Stewart recently handed to me a digitally generated map of Jamaica, done by satellite, showing where water is being held underground. This map will be forwarded to the National Water Commission (NWC).

“The use of the technology and the analysis came as a result of his duty to his country. He simply wanted to help us in this water crisis. The same methods used to seek minerals should be able to locate water. He accepted the challenge and the maps are ready at no cost to the people of Jamaica,” added Montague.

Officials of the NWC have repeatedly argued that Jamaica needs a more reliable source of adequate water rather than an increase in the man-made raw water storage capacity.

New sources of water could provide the answer for the repeated attempts to prevent the seasonal shortage of potable water which has affected the island.

Geophysx is in the second year of its search for precious metals in areas where it has acquired exclusive licences to conduct operations.

The company has already invested almost $200 million in its explorations and Stewart said the results so far have been very encouraging.

“We are finding multiple minerals. We are finding copper, zinc, lead, and there is evidence of precious metals including gold, as well, but primarily we are not focused on one element,” said Stewart.

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