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Noranda says blocking its Special Mining Lease will hurt the economy

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Noranda says blocking its Special Mining Lease will hurt the economy

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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Noranda Bauxite Jamaica says that preventing it from mining bauxite reserves granted under Special Mining Lease (SML) 173 would have a serious impact on direct and indirect jobs, as well as export earnings and taxes it contributes to the Jamaican economy.
According to Noranda, if it is precluding from mining the reserves, all of which fall outside of the Cockpit Country Protected Area (CCPA), it will be forced to mine lesser quality bauxite at much further haul distances.
“The resulting economic impact, which will be felt in the relatively near future, will jeopardise Noranda’s ability to sustain the more than 800 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs, and the millions of US dollars in export earnings, taxes and other outgoings, that the company contributes to the Jamaican economy,” Noranda said.
Noranda was responding to stepped up threats from environmental activists protesting against the company’s plans to start mining bauxite under the lease, which has been targeted despite the company pointing out that the lands designated for mining are outside the protected area.
 The company stated that it is not conducting any mining activity that encroaches on the CCPA and has not made any application to do so.
“Noranda fully supports the zero-mining policy adopted by the Government of Jamaica in relation to the CCPA, which was designated by the Government in 2017, following several scientific studies and widespread consultations with all stakeholders, including specifically prominent Jamaican environmentalists,” Noranda said.
Furthermore, Noranda noted, its special mining lease covers land wholly outside the CCPA and, while containing 8,335 hectares, the company anticipates mining only 15 per cent of that area.
In 2004, Noranda entered into a 26-year mining lease with the Government. Upon the 2017 declaration of the CCPA, it was discovered that portions of the leased land fell within the designated area. Noranda said it fully cooperated with the Government and agreed arrangements for the company’s mining activities to be relocated to areas that fall outside the boundaries of the CCPA.
Noranda’s General Manager Delroy Dell noted that in 2017 extensive consultations were held with all stakeholders, regarding the boundaries for the proposed CCPA.
He pointed out that the Government’s final decision took into consideration the recommendations of noted experts in a range of fields, including geology and biodiversity; environmental lobby groups, as well as residents in the area.
He said that with regard to the call by some for an expansion of the CCPA, it should be noted that the CCPA is already the largest protected area of its kind in Jamaica, and covers nearly 10 per cent of Jamaica’s landmass, inclusive of over 70,000 hectares of contiguous broadleaf forest
“Even though the CCPA boundaries led to a loss in prime mining areas for Noranda Jamaica Bauxite, we accepted, and have since been guided by the decision, given the environmental importance of the Cockpit Country,” Dell argued.
He said that it is beyond doubt that bauxite mining continues to be a mainstay of the Jamaican economy.
“Dozens of communities and Noranda are committed to both the company and the country engaging in the required balance between economic development and the protection of the environment,” Dell said.
He added that a fundamental principle of all aspects of Noranda’s operations, and a key reason the the company has been able to operate in harmony with the communities, is that it not only mines bauxite, but also implements environmentally friendly long-term projects that allow residents to derive greater economic and social benefits from their surrounding environment.
In addition, Dell noted that the company works hard to ensure that the lands it mines are effectively reclaimed for beneficial use by local farmers and residents alike. 

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Israeli warplanes hit Gaza after Palestinian rocket barrage

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Israeli warplanes hit Gaza after Palestinian rocket barrage

Monday, February 24, 2020

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JERUSALEM, Undefined (AFP) — Israeli aircraft hit what the military said were Islamic Jihad sites in the Gaza Strip late Sunday, after Palestinian militants said they fired a barrage of rockets at Israel.

In a new flare-up a week ahead of a general election in the Jewish state, the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on “Islamic Jihad terror sites”, a military statement said, without elaborating.

Palestinian security sources said the Israeli aircraft repeatedly hit a base of the radical group in the north of the coastal strip.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In what an army spokeswoman said was a separate operation, a military aircraft fired at “Islamic Jihad terror operatives preparing to launch rockets”, from the northern Gaza Strip.

“A hit was identified,” a military statement said.

Islamic Jihad said it carried out yesterday’s rocket fire in response to Israel’s killing of one of its fighters earlier in the day.

“The Palestinian resistance targeted Sunday evening the city of Ashkelon and the Gaza envelope with a number of rockets, as a response to the crime of the Zionist enemy,” it said in a statement.

The rockets set off warning sirens in the southern city of Ashkelon and several other locations, while around 10 were intercepted by the Jewish state’s Iron Dome missile defence system, the Israeli army said.

Others crashed into open fields. There were no reports of serious injuries.

“Twenty launches were identified from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory,” a military statement said.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 but has struck a series of unofficial truce agreements with the Jewish state in the past year.

Yesterday morning, Israel’s army said it had “spotted two terrorists approaching the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and placing an explosive device adjacent to it”.

“The troops opened fire towards them. A hit was identified,” it said.

Islamic Jihad identified the dead man as Mohammed al-Naem, 27, a member of its armed Al-Quds Brigade forces.

A video later emerged on social media showing a bulldozer approaching a body while a group of young, apparently unarmed men, were trying to retrieve it.

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Gov’t has spent $300 million on markets since 2016

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Gov’t has spent $300 million on markets since 2016

Monday, February 24, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie says the Government has spent over $300 million since 2016 to construct and improve the aesthetics of markets across the island.

He was speaking at a ceremony on the grounds of Hopewell Methodist Church in Hanover on Thursday last, ahead of breaking ground for the rehabilitation of the nearby Hopewell Market.

McKenzie said the Government has been “responding to the cry to improve market conditions” while noting their importance to economic development.

Among the markets constructed are the Falmouth Market in Trelawny and the Port Maria Market in St Mary, which is slated to be open soon.

“This Administration has taken a serious look at markets…we have done work on the Linstead Market. Jointly with the Port Authority of Jamaica, we built a brand new market in the town of Falmouth. When you go up further in the northern part of Trelawny, I opened a brand new transportation and refurbished market in Clarke’s Town,” McKenzie stated.

He also informed that $8.5 million has been spent to complete the Black River Market in St Elizabeth, while $5 million will be made available by the end of February, to commence phase one of repairs to the Santa Cruz Market.

Additionally, $75 million will be spent in the 2020/2021 financial year to construct a market in Negril, Westmoreland.

 

— JIS

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Cornwall Regional to receive ICT devices

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Cornwall Regional to receive ICT devices

Monday, February 24, 2020

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The Universal Service Fund (USF) is providing Cornwall Regional Hospital with information communication technology (ICT) devices and tools to improve the management of health information at that facility.

The entity’s chief executive officer (CEO), Daniel Dawes, made the disclosure at a formal ceremony to announce the increase in bandwidth at the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the Kingston Public and Victoria Jubilee hospitals, held last Tuesday at the hospitals’ North Street address in Kingston.

Among the devices to be donated are four tablets and two multifunctional printers.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to facilitate this. It is a thrust of the USF to partner with other government organisations to make sure there is a positive impact in relation to the use of technology for the development of our country,” he said.

Dawes stated that the donation is part of efforts to improve the island’s public health infrastructure.

The Fund plays an important role in providing technological support to the health sector, facilitating broadband access to 60 public health facilities throughout the country at a cost of over US$24,000 per month.

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Schoolboy commended for service to adult club

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Schoolboy commended for service to adult club

Monday, February 24, 2020

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PORUS, Manchester – Porus High School student Dujon Carter came in for special mention recently at the Porus Primary School Parenting Club’s pre-Valentine’s Day tea party.

The 13-year-old grade 8 student was taken by surprise when the club’s vice-president, Dotlyn Parchment, who chaired the afternoon’s proceedings, invited him to the podium to be formally introduced to the guest speaker, Sergeant Patrae Rowe, chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation.

Nonplussed as to what he had done to deserve such an honour, young Carter, after a warm smile and handshake from the policeman, soon learned that he was being commended for his faithful and voluntary service to the parenting club.

The audience heard that although not meeting the criteria to be a member, young Dujon since his attendance at Porus Primary had developed an affinity for the club and though uninvited, had made himself available and handy, particularly at club functions.

His interest in the activities of the club continued after he graduated from Porus Primary and moved on to Porus High School down the road. It was then discovered that Dujon has a special talent of which the club could make good use — he playes the drums.

At the tea party, playing the conga drum, he joined veteran Baptist church guitarist Evadne Wellington to provide musical accompaniment during the club members’ entertainment package of rousing folk songs and a medley of popular R&B hits.

A major concern of the club, since its founding 20 years ago, is the difficulty of getting Porus fathers to become members.

The membership was heartened by Dujon’s natural interest and unsolicited participation, and Vice-President Parchment felt it fortuitous that the guest speaker was a suitable role model and mentor for Dujon and the young people of Porus.

Himself a native of Porus, Rowe had kind words of encouragement for the teen. He referenced his own experience as a boy in Harmons, a poor farming district, living in a home provided by the self-help charity organisation Food for the Poor, sharing ruefully his familiarity with…”sleeping on the floor”.

He recalled being slighted because of his poor circumstance when, as an adolescent, he sought to establish a romantic relationship with a community girl. He said it was whispered that he was not good enough for her and although devastated by her rejection, he said being turned down served to motivate him to make something of himself.

Now a 14-year veteran of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Rowe is well known in the public sphere as a vocal and staunch defender of the welfare and interest of the rank and file members of the JCF, whom he represents as head of the Jamaica Police Federation.

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This Day In History – February 24

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Today is the 55 day of 2020. There are 311 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

2008: Raul Castro replaces brother Fidel as Cuba’s president.

 

OTHER EVENTS

1525: Spanish army, using muskets for first time in war, routs French and Swiss forces at Pavia, Italy, as 14,000 men are slain in battle.

1530: Charles V is crowned holy Roman emperor and King of Italy by Pope Clement VII at Bologna — the last imperial coronation by a pope.

1656: Spain declares war on England.

1830: King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates in the face of an insurrection in Paris, giving way to the Second Republic.

1891: China pays indemnity to Russia for return of Ili Valley in north-west China.

1920: Nazi Party is organised in Germany.

1945: Egypt’s Premier Ahmed Pasha is assassinated after announcing Egypt’s declaration of war against Germany.

1946: Juan Peron is elected for first of three presidential terms in Argentina.

1990: Candidates favouring independence run well in elections to the Supreme Soviet of Lithuania.

1992: Azerbaijani militants fire rockets into the capital of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing four.

1993: With the lowest popularity rating in Canadian polling history, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney calls it quits after nine years in office.

1995: Breaking its silence with a fury rare in transatlantic diplomacy, the US Embassy accuses France’s interior minister of lying about a spy scandal.

1996: Cuban Government fighter planes shoot down two small aircraft belonging to an exile group flying off the coast of Havana.

1997: Nine army officers in Zaire declare that they will join the rebels under Laurent Kabila who seek to topple Mobuto Sese Seko.

1998: An armed band shoots and kills a socialist candidate and four supporters in northern India in election-related violence.

1999: The second killer avalanche hits western Austria in as many days, raising the death toll to 38.

2000: Betty Lou Beets, 62, is executed after Texas Governor George W Bush rejects her claim that she killed her fifth husband in self-defence and deserved a reprieve. She is the second woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.

2001: The French Government offers medical benefits and shelter to 908 shipwrecked Iraqi Kurds who have been living in a military camp since their rusty freighter washed onto the French Riviera a week before.

2002: The Winter Olympic Games concludes in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Germany winning the most medals in the games: 12 golds, 16 silvers and seven bronzes for a total of 35.

2003: Vojislav Seselj, leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, surrenders to the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He is charged with eight counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes.

2004: A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocks a picturesque but impoverished region of northern Morocco, killing more than 550 people.

2007: The Virginia General Assembly votes unanimously to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery, becoming the first in the US to pass such a measure.

2009: President Barack Obama makes his first address to Congress, warning the US has to start reckoning with its economic problems.

2010: Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda apologises personally and repeatedly to the United States and millions of American Toyota owners for safety lapses that have led to deaths and widespread recalls.

2011: Discovery, the world’s most travelled spaceship, thunders into orbit for the final time, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey that marks the beginning of the end of the shuttle era.

2012: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blasts Russia and China as “despicable” for opposing UN action aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI bestows his final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St Peter’s Square.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Charles V, holy Roman emperor, king of Spain and archduke of Austria (1500-1558); Wilhelm Grimm, German author (1786-1859); George Augustus Moore, English novelist (1852-1933); Bettino Craxi, first socialist prime minister of Italy (1934-2000); James Farentino, US actor (1938-2012); Paula Zahn, US news correspondent (1956- )

 

— AP

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