The Mining, Quarrying and Safety Inspectorate is responsible for the enforcement of the Mining Act 1947, the Mineral (Vesting) Act, the Quarries (Control) Act 1983 and general supervision of all prospecting, quarrying and mining activities.
Through the Mining Inspectors, the Inspectorate carries out its policing of mining operations to ensure maintenance of good engineering practices and the rehabilitation of mined-out lands. This is done by:
- Inspection and monitoring of areas with mining leases to ensure compliance with the Mining, Safety and Health regulations
- Certification of rehabilitated mined out lands
- Monitoring of all blasting activities islandwide
- Investigation of complaints against holders of mining leases
- Resolving conflicts
- Maintaining a database on all lands within mining leases.
The Inspectorate receives monthly bauxite production figures showing the amount of ore mined from each ore-body according to company. Each ore-body is mined until depleted, at which point the Inspectorate grants permission to reclaim the mined out lands as stipulated in the Mining Legislations. The Commissioner's Plaque is presented annually to one of the five (5) bauxite companies based on restored lands presented for certification. This is done at the National Mineral Industry Awards function.
- Processing of applications for all quarry licences
- Monitoring and regulating all legal quarries in the island to ensure accepted safety and engineering practices
- Investigating reports on illegal quarrying
- Establishment of quarry zones
- Maintaining a database for volume of all quarry materials and quarry minerals produced
With the reduction in the number of illegal quarries and the high level of compliance by quarry operators, the Inspectorate continues to realize a yearly increase in quarry tax collection. Safety inspections and audits of quarries are carried out on a regular basis to ensure safe operations. This is especially so for larger operations involved in aggregate production. In sensitizing quarry operators on good quarry practices and procedures, an annual Quarries Operators' Seminar is held by the MGD as a further thrust to ensure compliance in the sector.
The Inspectorate's responsibility extends to monitoring all blasting operations in Jamaica. Pre and post blasting inspections are done to provide information for damage settlements where necessary. In addition, advice is given to neighbours affected by blasting activity during site clearance.