· New mining cadastre touted for efficiency and transparency
Kingston, Jamaica, 18 March 2022: – Applications for mining licenses, mining export permits and other search, tracking and coordination functions of the Development Minerals industry in Jamaica, have now gone digital with the launch of the Jamaican Mining Cadastre (JAMinCAD).
Officially launched 11 March at the Mines and Geology Division of the Ministry of Transport and Mining, JAMinCAD is a new digital platform for clients and managers of the minerals industry. Authenticated users can use the system to locate different types of known mineral deposits across Jamaica; identify location and boundaries of areas licensed for mining, adjacent housing, roads, upcoming developments and Protected Areas bordering mined and unmined deposits; apply for relevant licenses; as well as manage and track the status and performance of mining license applications.
Funding was provided by the European Union (EU) under the OACPS-EU Development Minerals Programme which is implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Mining in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica.
In delivering the keynote address at the launch, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Audley Shaw, noted that artisans, mining and quarry operators, geologists, mining investors and government agencies will experience short and long-term positive impacts on the mining sector. “The system significantly improves the existing procedures and the management of mineral licenses and related documentation. It provides a client-focused user-friendly interface to investors and other users,” he explained.
Minister Shaw said that JAMinCAD “will allow future changes to reflect the state of legal and regulatory frameworks and modification of licensing procedures with little or no software modification. The system will enable transparent and internationally recognized best practices of granting and managing mineral licenses throughout the country.”
In noting that the database’s web maps can identify adjacent Protected Areas, Minister Shaw said, “we have to take a very balanced approach to how we access our resources while protecting our environment as well as protecting our water resources”.
He congratulated the teams from the Ministry, the UNDP and project consultants Compet-Terra for making the project a reality and acknowledged the strong partnership and support that the European Union has offered to Jamaica’s minerals sector, particularly through the OACPS-EU Development Minerals Programme. “The UNDP and EU have offered a crucial partnership geared towards building the profile and improving the management of the development minerals industry in Jamaica,” the Minister said.
“This tool has come at a time when the need for investments is increased significantly, which is pivotal to realising growth and development, especially as we work to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. … The Mining Cadastre is timely and augurs well for the country’s path to economic recovery” Minister Shaw said.
UNDP Resident Representative Denise Antonio lauded the digital platform as another milestone in Jamaica’s bold mission to becoming a digital society.
She pointed out that by going digital, government agencies have boosted their capacity to monitor compliance, manage the industry and generate data, which are all keys to strengthening productivity, efficiency and planning. “We regard this development as a major addition to the expanding architecture of the digital society, and a gamechanger for generating inclusive and sustainable growth within the sector,” she stated.
The UNDP Resident Representative said consistent with the shared commitment to accelerated progress through digital transformation, more than one third of the Development Minerals Programme budget is allocated for the procurement of technology. “Today’s launch is therefore the latest technology asset transfer designed to strengthen the Ministry’s capacity to manage the sector. Previously, we have handed over Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Computer Servers and other equipment, as well as fast-speed wireless internet technology with greater capabilities,” she disclosed.
Mr Aniceto Rodriguez Ruiz, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU in Jamaica EU said JAMinCAD is an example of how digitalization can improve the management of a sector. He noted that the system will help to address key issues related to non-compliance with relevant mining legislation and regulations by generating notices to companies and making changes to legal and regulatory frameworks more accessible to industry players. “The launch of JAMinCAD is a step in the right direction for the country and we at the European Union are hopeful that the relevant players will take advantage of this important development,” he stated.
The Development Minerals Programme is designed to foster increased employment and income for artisanal and small-scale mining enterprises (ASMEs), and in particular, increased economic opportunities for women participating in ASMEs throughout the Development Minerals value chain.