State of the art Information Technology (IT) equipment valued at some J$4.183 million Jamaican dollars has been transferred to the Mines and Geology Division (MGD) of the Ministry of Transport and Mining to strengthen efficiencies in identification, mining and extraction of minerals for development, growth and job creation.
The equipment was officially transferred during a recent Transfer of Assets Session under the four-year, African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU)-financed Development Minerals Programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Jamaica’s MGD. The equipment includes a computer server/storage area network (SAN) capable of supporting larger Geographic Information System (GIS) files; Slope Stability Assessment tools – including aerial drones, server racks and shelves, consoles; laptop and tablet, desktop computer, binoculars, rangefinders, etc. to enable staff to use the latest technology, as well as to improve the delivery of service.
The equipment also permits updating and ease of access to a new Development Minerals database and web map that digitizes location, quantities and access routes of mineral deposits across Jamaica using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska in her remarks said the project demonstrated Jamaica's recognition of the importance of unused resources, and the need to develop specific policies and dedicated tools in order to exploit these resources and make wider use of them for the resilience of the country. “For this reason, I particularly appreciate the new tool of the Slope Stability Assessment’s (aerial drone), that will help to fight the threats posed by land degradation, water-related risks and extreme water events related to climate modification and to which, we have to be prepared.,” the Ambassador stated.
In remarks delivered on his behalf by Dr Oral Rainford, Principal Director, Mining/Minerals Policy Planning and Development, Minister of Transport and Mining Hon. Robert Montague said the technology was helping the minerals industry to create and extend market opportunities by accessing previously unreachable deposits especially using GIS technology. He noted that GIS technologies create efficiency and productivity opportunities in all aspects of mineral exploration and mining. It enables a mineral exploration geologist and mine operator to mine intelligently, efficiently, competitively, safely, and in an environmentally compatible manner.
“Information & Communication Technology (ICT) has become one of the most important tools for enabling increased transparency, process efficiency, improving productivity, optimization of operational cost, decision making along with increasing the Employee, Customer and Investor Satisfaction, etc,” Minister Montague stated.
UNDP Programme Specialist, Officer in Charge, Mr. Richard Kelly said assets enabled the utilization of a versatile range of tools and techniques for capturing, analyzing and leveraging spatial information, in this case, GIS (GIS) technology. “By implementing robust GIS software applications, professionals can capture and visualize valuable geospatial intelligence”, he said.
In underscoring UNDP’s commitment to technology application in support of the industry, Mr. Kelly disclosed that the procurement of technology represented 35% of the programme’s budget for geo-data equipment. He said that this focus on institutional strengthening was essential to UNDP’s work of work of reducing poverty and catalyzing wealth creation and inclusive development in pursuit of securing the Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind.