July 25, 2019 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his government is committed to preserving the value of marine life, the announcement follows a protest by local and international watchdogs on government involvement in deep sea mining contracts. 

The prime minister was addressing member states at the 25th anniversary of the International Seabed Authority in Downtown, Kingston.

He says his government is committed to maintaining a balance between the Marine Development and Marine Protection.

“While exploitation promises socio-economic benefits, this must proceed on the basis of appropriate regulations, standards and guidelines that ensure the effective protection of the marine environment,” he said.

According to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade earlier this year, under the agreement, the Government and Blue Minerals Jamaica Ltd. will file an application with the ISA for an Exploration Licence for Polymetallic Nodules in international waters.

Blue Minerals Jamaica’s activities are focused on the collection of Polymetallic Nodules containing high concentrations of Nickel, Copper, Cobalt and Manganese. Nodules are lying on the surface of the seabed and are harvested by a collector through hydraulic suction.

The Prime Minister said the Government is also encouraged with the work that is being undertaken on the Enterprise, which is the commercial arm of the Authority, empowered to conduct its own seabed mining, initially through joint ventures with other entities.

“The operationalisation of the Enterprise will present developing countries with much-needed opportunities for participation in deep seabed mining,” he said.

Jamaila Maitland