A recent assessment of Jamaica’s mining policy framework has revealed major gaps in the island’s mining closure legislation. The assessment show that the requirements for mining operators are weak and therefore expose Jamaicans to significant social and economic risks. The assessment was done between November 2018 and April 2019, by the Inter-Governmental forum on mining in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank. The assessment found that financial assurances to cover the costs of rehabilitation and closure are not required by the Mining Act, leaving mining communities exposed to significant hazards. The assessment also labeled the current framework as outdated and notes that it fails to address many of the environmental, social, and economic elements of mine closure. The assessment found that fines and penalties associated with incomplete restoration and rehabilitation, or not adhering to the required timeline for certification of mined-out lands, are low. The group has recommended that the government consider a modern legislative regime and policy for the mining sector which will provide clear lines of responsibility and accountability.
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