Caribbean Ce­ment aims to dou­ble quarry op­er­a­tions

Jamaica Gleaner - - FINANCE - Steven Jack­son/ Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter steven.jack­son@glean­

CARIBBEAN CE­MENT Com­pany Lim­ited (CCCL) plans to more than dou­ble its gyp­sum and lime­stone quar­ries, a move aimed at sup­ple­ment­ing raw ma­te­ri­als that are now de­scribed as hov­er­ing at crit­i­cally low lev­els.

The plan re­quires ap­proval from reg­u­la­tor, the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment & Plan­ning Agency (NEPA).

Caribbean Ce­ment spokes­woman Sophia Lowe-Pin­nock told the Fi­nan­cial Gleaner that from a min­ing per­spec­tive ‘low lev­els’ of raw ma­te­ri­als can equate to sev­eral years of sup­plies, even as much as 20 years. How­ever, the ce­ment pro­ducer is yet to com­ment on the size of the in­vest­ment to be made in the ex­pan­sion project and ex­pected time­line for its ex­e­cu­tion.

Its quar­ries are op­er­ated through sub­sidiar y Ja­maica Gyp­sum & Quar­ries Lim­ited.


Caribbean Ce­ment wants to ex­tend its Hal­ber­stadt Gyp­sum Quarry from 2.0 kilo­me­tres to 6.7 k ilome­tres; and es­tab­lish a lime­stone quarry at Har­bour Head span­ning 50 acres, which is con­tigu­ous to an ex­ist­ing quarry. Both quar­ries would be within prox­im­ity to its plant at Rock­fort in Kingston.

“Sup­plies at the gyp­sum quarry in Hal­ber­stadt and the lime­stone quarry in Har­bour Head are at a crit­i­cal level, and as such ad­di­tional de­posits need to be se­cured,” said the En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment, or EIA, re­port done f or Caribbean Ce­ment by En­viro Plan­ners Lim­ited.

The doc­u­ment de­scribes the projects at both quarry sites as an “ex­ten­sion/ex­pan­sion of an ex­ist­ing per­mit­ted op­er­a­tions to ad­ja­cent lands”. The re­port done in Jan­uary was pub­lished on NEPA’s web­site this month.

The pro­posed op­er­a­tion at Hal­ber­stadt will process 200,000 tonnes of gyp­sum per year from 6.7 hectares of l and, while Har­bour Head will process 800,000 tonnes of lime­stone per year from 20 hectares of land, or 50 acres, stated the EIA.

The com­pany en­vis­ages that each op­er­a­tion would in­volve ac­tiv­i­ties such as drilling, blast­ing, ma­te­rial trans­port and stock­pil­ing, as well as the crush­ing or pro­cess­ing of ma­te­ri­als. The quar­ries are roughly 8.5 kilo­me­tres apart.

The gyp­sum mine at Hal­ber­stadt is the only lo­ca­tion of known de­posits of t hat ma­te­rial in eco­nomic quan­ti­ties in the is­land. Sep­a­rately, the com­pany wants ad­di­tional min­ing space at Har­bour Head be­cause of a spe­cific chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of the lime­stone in that area.

“The min­eral cur­rently avail­able from the ex­ist­ing lime­stone quarry poses a se­ri­ous chal­lenge to de­rive the cor­rect blend pro­por­tion to meet the re­quire­ment of or­di­nary Port­land ce­ment, man­u­fac­tured by CCCL. Based on bore­hole sam­ple anal­y­sis, the chem­istry of the min­eral from the pro­posed Har­bour Head Quarry is ideal for blend­ing with lime­stone from the ex­ist­ing quarr y,” the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­port stated.

An ini­tial EIA was done in 2013 by an­other firm, which out­lined other so­cio-eco­nomic de­tails of the project. Aris­ing from that re­port, Caribbean Ce­ment was granted 1.0 kilo­me­tre of the pro­posed 6.7 kilo­me­tres, and was re­cently granted ac­cess to an ad­di­tional kilo­me­tre.

“The EIA of 2013 done by C L En­vi­ron­men­tal pre­sented com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion on the same re­gion and is con­sid­ered to be still ap­pli­ca­ble, and was there­fore adopted for this re­port,” said En­viro Plan­ners in its 2018 re­port.

Lime­stone rep­re­sents 80 per cent of the raw ma­te­rial in­put nec­es­sary for pro­duc­ing clinker, which is an in­ter­me­di­ary prod­uct in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of ce­ment.


The value of Caribbean Ce­ment’s lime­stone re­serves are not stated in its fi­nan­cial re­ports; how­ever, it does in­di­cate that it leases land from the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica for lime­stone min­ing.

“The an­nual lease charge is $700,000 and the lease term has 32 years re­main­ing, but ex­ploitable re­serves are ex­pected to have a life of 20 years based on the cur­rent ex­trac­tion rate,” the com­pany said in its au­dited fi­nan­cial re­port for 2017.

Caribbean Ce­ment made net profit of $1.15 bil­lion on rev­enues of $16.5 bil­lion last year. The com­pany, which has traded on the Ja­maica Stock Ex­change for 49 years, is a sub­sidiary of Trinidad Ce­ment Lim­ited but is ul­ti­mately owned by Ce­mex of Mex­ico.

Caribbean Ce­ment Com­pany Lim­ited, at Rock­fort, Kingston.

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