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BAUXITE MINING IN JAMAICA

Please also ensure you read the textbook

WHERE- mines, plants and ports

Central Jamaica Limestone areas thought that bauxite results from weathering of limestone note that the Cockpit area is in the middle of this area

WHERE IS THE BAUXITE?


Central Jamaica in limestone areas it is thought that bauxite results from weathering of limestone note that the Cockpit area is in the middle of this area. The Cockpit Country is an important area of karst scenery it is ecologically important i.e .in terms of flora and fauna, also sensitive in terms of the underground water. There seem to be many issues as to the boundaries of this area. The area is being considered for mining. There are many who object to mining in this area
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THE COCKPIT COUNTRY

WHY-FACTORS
Although alumina content was lower than in Guyana, However, this disadvantage was more than offset by the fact that reserves were enormous and easily accessible (soft and relatively easy to extract.) The deposits lay only 1,000 miles from the Gulf Coast ports, and transport costs to the U.S.A. were low. Soon after the war, Canadian and American companies built the special plants needed to extract alumina from bauxite, purchased large properties in the island and began operations.

WHY-FACTORS
Soon after the war, Canadian and American companies built the special plants needed to extract alumina from bauxite, purchased large properties in the island and began operations This would have included investment in transport roads railways etc.

HOW
Mining is carried out by open-pit methodsbecause the bauxite is close to the surface. No miners work underground. The topsoil is cleared from a few acres and the underlying bauxite is removed with huge mechanical shovels. A single deposit 50 acres in extent may yield over 5 million tons before it is exhausted and the land restored.

HOW
Reclamation Wilson page 139 Some environmentalists have problems with this reclamation and the failure of government to monitor this reclamation.

EXPORTS
Some of the mining companies export the bauxite itself. They dry the ore in rotating ovens and load it on to ships at the north coast ports of Discovery Bay and Ocho Rios to be taken to their alumina factories in the United States.

IMPORTANCE OF BAUXITE
The benefits of the bauxite and alumina industries are mainly financial. By paying high wages to their employees they have made poor agricultural districts more prosperous and the income is more steady than that of farming. There has been a move towards more local expertise i.e better job opportunities.

IMPORTANCE OF BAUXITE
Companies pay royalties on the amount of bauxite they mine, and income tax on the profits they make. The Jamaican government has been able to undertake development projects which would otherwise have been impossible.

IMPORTANCE OF BAUXITE
In addition, industries linked with bauxite are coming into being. One example is the manufacture of caustic soda.

IMPORTANCE OF BAUXITE
See pie charts - Wilson page 138

SOME RECENT STATISTICS


Bauxite production increased by 36.4 per cent. This was reflected in a 44.3 per cent increase in alumina production and a 29.2 per cent growth in crude bauxite. From an impressive US$1.3 billion in 2008 gross earnings from the industry slipped dramatically to US$467 million in 2009, while employment fell by almost 44 per cent between 2008 and early 2010.

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BAUXITE MINING


The bauxite and alumina companies, several of which are foreign multinationals, control large areas of Jamaica.

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BAUXITE MINING


High imports Fluctuations in world price

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BAUXITE MINING


Bauxite and alumina do not provide employment for large numbers of people. The number employed in producing bauxite and alumina is less than 10,000. The high wages paid by the bauxite companies cannot be matched by other employers. This causes dissatisfaction among workers in other sectors of the economy.

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BAUXITE MINING


Pollution liquids and gases expelled into the air and ground, noise pollution , visual pollution as well. Finding a use for the rock waste which the alumina factories dump to form large ugly lakes of red mud. There are plans to extract iron from this red mud. See Wilson page 139

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BAUXITE MINING


Production has fallen over the years
World prices have fallen due to alternatives like plastic Some countries stock piled when prices were favourable so demand has fallen

ONLINE SOURCES
www.jamaicahistory.com.jm/bauxite.htm countrystudies.us/caribbean-islands/30 jamaicagleaner.com/gleaner/20080714/business/busi ness1.html www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11614 www.jamaicancaves.org/cockpit-countrybauxite-mining.htm -