Quarry in­dus­try shouldn’t be de­fined by ‘eat a food’ men­tal­ity – Ni­chol­son

Jamaica Gleaner - - PUBLIC PROCUREMEN­T - Ja­son Cross/ Gleaner Writer ja­son.cross@glean­erjm.com

ROY NI­CHOL­SON, com­mis­sioner of mines in the Mines Divi­sion of the Min­istry of Trans­port and Min­ing, has charged en­trepreneur­s in the sec­tor to latch on to train­ing and im­prove­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, en­cour­ag­ing them to seek not just to “eat a food” from the in­dus­try.

Ni­chol­son was speak­ing re­cently dur­ing the vir­tual han­dover of a ref­er­ence re­source man­ual for the de­vel­op­ment of the min­er­als sec­tor. Pro­duc­tion of the hand­book, now avail­able in hard and soft copy, was made pos­si­ble through fund­ing from the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme ( UNDP), and was de­signed to boost the ca­pac­ity of the sec­tor, to en­sure re­silience and growth.

Hav­ing well- es­tab­lished quar­ries, Ni­chol­son said, will make the job of reg­u­la­tors eas­ier and, “small op­er­a­tors will know how to go about their de­vel­op­ment and not just eat a food”.

“You need to set up an op­er­a­tion that will con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to your de­vel­op­ment, as well as the in­dus­try and the coun­try. We seek to part­ner with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to see how best we can im­prove train­ing and de­vel­op­ment for the sec­tor. We try to en­sure that we pro­vide the per­sons in the sec­tor with the nec­es­sary skills, cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy, as well as best prac­tices. Hence, from time to time, we have our usual sem­i­nars and work­shops to en­sure these per­sons are well knowl­edge­able as to what is out there world­wide and use that to de­velop their busi­ness.”


He said the Mines and Ge­ol­ogy Divi­sion re­cently com­pleted the train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme with 18 stu­dents, who were the first co­hort of quarry mon­i­tors, and called for the con­tin­ued as­sis­tance of the UNDP to be able to fi­nance the on­line train­ing of fu­ture co­horts.

“In­di­vid­u­als or in­sti­tu­tions, we also seek part­ner­ship with them to en­sure that this in­dus­try, which means so much to the coun­try, can be seen as the best there is.”

Sig­nalling big plans for Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Ja­maica to be­gin cer­ti­fy­ing mem­bers of the in­dus­try at the bach­e­lor’s de­gree level, direc­tor of the fac­ulty of Built En­vi­ron­ment, Lau­rence Neufville, shared that a four-year mines and quar­ries pro­gramme will be­gin in Jan­uary 2021.

“It has taken over two years be­cause the univer­sity qual­ity as­sur­ance com­mit­tee is a very ro­bust one. We now have a course that can stand up to scru­tiny and sat­isfy the high qual­ity as­sur­ance re­quire­ments of the Univer­sity Coun­cil of Ja­maica. We want to get quarry op­er­a­tors to be­lieve and know that they are in­volved in a busi­ness. They need to know strate­gic man­age­ment, the plan­ning process, busi­ness plan prepa­ra­tion and also be able to pre­pare doc­u­ments for fi­nanc­ing.

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