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Bauxite mining in Cockpit Country, Jamaica


Bauxite is the source mineral of aluminium. In Jamaica, ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America), the largest producer of aluminum in the world, has been mining bauxite since 1963, converting Jamaica in the sixth largest bauxite producer in the world, right after Australia, Guinea, Brazil, China and India.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bauxite mining in Cockpit Country, Jamaica
State or province:Cockpit Country
Location of conflict:Trelawny Parish
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Other industries
Metal refineries
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Aluminum/Bauxite
silica and limestone
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A licence granted to Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica to prospect bauxite in the parished of Trelawny and St. Ann ( about 51 000 ha).

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Project area:51000
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectunknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:75 000
Start of the conflict:04/08/2005
Company names or state enterprises:Alcoa from United States of America
Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica from United States of America - concessionaire
Clarendon Alumina Production from Jamaica
Relevant government actors:Jamaica Bauxite Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Government of Jamaica.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Cockpit Country Stakeholders' Group (CCSG), Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA), Windsor Research Centre (WRC), University of the West Indies (UWI), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jamaica Environmental Advocacy Network (JEAN).
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Maroon community
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Soil erosion, Mine tailing spills
Other Environmental impactsLoss of endemic species
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Increase in violence and crime
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
Proposal and development of alternatives:Sustainable and long-term economic projects such as butterfly ranch and zoo, organic agriculture, hemp product development, water production, essential oils and neutraceuticals, bamboo for housing, planting yam and other crops, ecological and cultural tourism.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The Jamaica government backed away from offering licenses for bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country region after protests from environmentalists and maroons.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Prospecting Licence #SEPL 535 granted to ALCOA Minerals of Jamaica in 2004
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Defining the Boundaries of The Cockpit Country. Final Report 9 th October 2008. University Of West Indies
[click to view]

Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency, Cockpit Country vs. Bauxite. From the Editor
[click to view]

The Gleaner (2013). Inside The Cockpit Country - Maroons, Conservationists Say No To Bauxite, Limestone Mining
[click to view]

Environment News Service (2006) Bauxite Mine Fight Looms in Jamaica's Cockpit Country
[click to view]

Bauxite Mine Fight Looms in Jamaica's Cockpit Country (2006)
[click to view]

Lodos rojos de minería de bauxita, deforestación y tragedias socioambientales (2010)
[click to view]

Ambiente-Jamaica. Interpress Services
[click to view]

BBC Caribean (2007) Maroons vow to protect lands
[click to view]

The Cockpit Country of Jamaica and the Threats Posed by Bauxite Mining (2013)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Save Cockpit Country public campaign
[click to view]

Cockpit Country - Voices from Jamaica's Heart
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Grettel Navas, Fundación Neotrópica
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1525
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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