JAMAICA | PNP demands that Gov't Refuse Bengal Developments Permit to Mine Dry Harbour Mountains

JAMAICA | PNP demands that Gov't Refuse Bengal Developments Permit to Mine Dry Harbour Mountains

>KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 9, 2022: Following a Sunday Gleaner story that despite having missed two bond-payment deadlines, Bengal Developments, the company that wants to mine in the sensitive Dry Harbour Mountains is still on track to recieve a mining licence from the government, the People's National Party is appealing to Minster Robert Montaque, who has responsibility for Mining, not to grant a permit for the parcel of land on which Bengal wants to mine..

Senator Frazer-Binns is warning the Government that, “actions such as these, will continue to erode any confidence that the country had in NEPA/NRCASenator Frazer-Binns is warning the Government that, “actions such as these, will continue to erode any confidence that the country had in NEPA/NRCAA statement from The People’s National Party spokesman on Mining, Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns is demanding that "the Prime Minister fully disclose to the nation why the extension has been given as the Jamaican people deserve to know.”

"the NRCA/NEPA must immediately provide the country with a detailed explanation for the granting of a third extension to Bengal Development Limited/Jamaica World LLC for payment of the bond after having missed the second deadline of March 2021 to pay the environmental bond."

The bond was one of over seventy conditions imposed by the Prime Minister when he overturned the decision of the NRCA and granted an environmental permit to Bengal Development Limited/Jamaica World LLC.

“If media reports are correct, this represents a blatant disregard for the environment and shows that the words of the NRCA, the country’s legislated Environmental Protection Agency and the Government cannot be trusted and have very little value,” stated Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns. “This is shocking, irresponsible, a dereliction of duty and a major blow to environmental protection”, Senator Frazer-Binns continued.

In May 2021, when Bengal Development Limited/Jamaica World LLC missed payment for the $40 million environmental performance bond for a second time, the Government stated then, that it was working with the company to "identify suitable lands with the same or better quality limestone". This was seen as a small win for environmental advocates who led the national outcry against mining in the ecological sensitive Dry Harbour Mountain.

The Opposition is calling on NEPA to give a full explanation of its decision to the country to include:

  1. When was the extension given?

  2. What are the details of the extension?

  3. When was the bond paid?

  4. What changed to allow NRCA/the PM to further extend?

  5. Why was the country not informed of the decision to extend?

  6. Was the Prime Minister aware of the extension and when?

Senator Frazer-Binns is warning the Government that, “actions such as these, will continue to erode any confidence that the country had in NEPA/NRCA. The Prime Minister has a duty to fully disclose why the extension has been given; the Jamaican people deserve to know.”

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