Putting mined-out land to productive and profitable use is a critical aspect of land management in the bauxite and alumina industry, especially considering the growing demand for land for residential, agricultural and public uses.
Research has shown that crops such as coffee, yam, peanut and other crops flourish on mined-out lands. Orchard crops such as ackee, avocado, and pimento, if properly managed, will also do well on this reclaimed land. The cultivation of potato, yam and cassava has proved to be very successful on mined-out lands in central and southern Manchester. Similarly, peanut, peppermint, cucumber and orchard crops have produced good yields in Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
Active agricultural research on mined-out bauxite lands is being carried out by the Lands Division of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute. The results indicate that mined-out lands are capable of production levels equal to those of other lands when selected crops and the appropriate management practices and levels of inputs are employed.
Resettling residents and sometimes entire communities may sometimes be necessary when houses and land have been sold to allow for mining. In Manchester, more than 200 hectares of mined-out land have been used for the development of no fewer than 15 resettlement subdivisions. These include subdivisions at Comfort and Hope. Alpart has also been involved in resettlement activity in Central and South Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
Some resettlement subdivisions built by Alpart on mined-out lands include Bonavista, Montpellier and New Buildings in St. Elizabeth, and New Wales, Brokenhurst, Knockpatrick and Inverness in Manchester. The most recent major resettlement on mined-out lands has been the 35-lot subdivision by Windalco at Unity Valley/Happy Content, just outside Faith’s Pen in St. Ann.
Many community centres and production units have been constructed on these lands, such as the Lime Tree Peanut Processing Factory and the soon to be constructed Comfort Bammy Factory in Manchester.