Jamaican News

Financial Institutions Commended For Reaching Out To Quarry Operators

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

Principal Director, Mining, Policy, Planning and Development Division in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Oral Rainford (right), converses with (from left) Senior General Manager, Retail Banking Division, NCB, Brian Boothe; Senior Assistant General Manager, Retail Banking, NCB, Kevin Ingram; and Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Mines and Geology Division, Mrs. Stacey Plummer, at the Financial Solutions Forum for the Minerals Sector held on March 14 in St. Thomas.

Principal Director of Mining in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Oral Rainford, says it is pleasing to see financial institutions reaching out to quarry operators.

“We are quite happy that NCB and DBJ have seen it fit to partner with the quarry operators and to look at the possibility of funding the operations in respect to the acquisition of equipment and the maintenance of the businesses,” he said.

Dr. Rainford was speaking at a Financial Solutions Forum for the Minerals Sector, hosted jointly by the Mines and Geology Division of the Ministry of Transport and Mining and National Commercial Bank at Casa Lagoona Hotel in St. Thomas on March 14.

The forum was organised to create a space for quarry operators and financial service providers to meet and discuss options for business financing for the mining industry.

Dr. Rainford said the need is particularly great within the quarrying segment of the sector, “because that is the part of the sector that is predominantly locally owned and is, therefore, reliant on the local financial sector”.

According to the Principal Director, quarrying is very capital-intensive, and he pointed out that the equipment that is used locally is generally not new.

He cited a recent study by the Ministry, which found that the majority of the front-end loaders that are being used in the sector are in excess of 10 years old.

Dr. Rainford added that there are trucks, bulldozers and excavators that are, for the most part, older than 10 years and in some instances up to 30 years old.

He pointed out that new equipment is more efficient and the operating costs are generally lower and, as such, he is happy that the financial interests have reached out to the operators.

The Principal Director congratulated the financial partners for participating in the forum.

“The Ministry of Transport and Mining is very pleased that the financial sector has seen it necessary to facilitate an occasion like this. We have for a number of years been pointing to the fact that the need for financing is acute and crucial within the mining sector,” he said.

Dr. Rainford emphasised that the minerals sector impacts many other segments of the economy.

“Without mining we would not have roads or buildings. It, therefore, means that the equipment that is needed has to be in place and operating efficiently,” he said


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