Our firm has a long established specialist practice in mining laws and provides a full range of legal services including land acquisitions, negotiation of agreements and liaising with governmental agencies on behalf of clients.

Acts Governing the Local Mining Sector

The main pieces of legislation in Jamaica governing the minerals/mining industry in Jamaica are:

The Minerals (Vesting) Act
The Mining Act
The Quarries Control Act
and Regulations made under the Mining Act and the Quarries Control Act.

The Minerals (Vesting) Act vests the ownership of all minerals in the Crown (i.e. the Government of Jamaica). The definition of minerals is very wide, including all metallic and abrasive minerals, coal, and precious stones. However, gypsum, building, and road making materials, such as clay, sand, and limestone are not included.

The Mining Act applies to all minerals as defined in the Minerals (Vesting) Act, and it is unlawful to prospect for or to mine any minerals without a licence or mining Lease under the Mining Act. There is also specific legislation regarding the mining of bauxite and production of alumina. The licences and leases for bauxite are granted under the Mining Act but there are special incentives and a special tax/production levy regime for bauxite and alumina.

Other mining (not being a mine defined under the Mining Act) falls under the Quarries Control Act. A Quarry licence has to be applied for under this Act and its regulations. It is an offence to operate a quarry without a licence granted under this Act. There are no incentives and there is a quarry tax imposed on the particular type of material and the amount sold or disposed of.

There is also the Petroleum Act which vests petroleum (oil, natural gas, other hydrocarbon substances, but not including coal or other substances from which oil can be extracted) in the Crown. The Act establishes the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica which is granted the exclusive right to explore and develop the resources of petroleum which are vested in the Crown by the Act.


Image by: Robert Davis, © 2010 Jamaica By Air