Above: a quarry in Jamaica
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica can make as much as $7 billion by increasing limestone production in the country, according to researcher Dr Conrad Douglas.
Douglas, who is the executive chairman of Douglas and Associates, revealed the industry’s potential during a symposium in New Kingston this week.
There are great opportunities,” he said. “What we found was really large. We are talking about total cumulative value for the markets of some $7 billion USD.”
Jamaica is estimated to have a total limestone resource of 150 billion tonnes, 50 billion of which can be recovered.
“Jamaican limestone is occurring naturally, we have been producing it, and we have been exporting it, and it has found acceptance in the international markets,” he said. “We have pharmaceutical limestone, we have chemical limestone, and we also have metallurgical limestone (use primarily in the bauxite industry). Limestone has the most diverse end-use structure of all material known by mankind. That, in itself, presents a wide range of opportunities.”
But in order to capitalize on that, the country must amend legislation relating to planning and development orders, he said.
“It means that we have to apply best sciences, and the best technology, and the best environment management practices to embark on a path of sustainable development and the use of creative conservation technologies, which now exist for the rehabilitation of those areas, which we might extract this resource from,” he said.