Subscribe for all my updates and don't miss a thing! Sign me up!

What Are Some Natural Resources Found In Jamaica?

Natural resources found in Jamaica - Contributed by Javia Rose

What's that? What do you mean by natural resources?

Natural resources refer to the things that exist freely in nature for human use and donโ€™t necessarily need the action of mankind for their generation or production.

Some recognizable examples of natural resources are:

  • Air which provides wind energy,
  • Coal which acts as an input for electricity,
  • Forests which provide paper, wood and various medicines,
  • Water which is used for drinking and production of hydroelectric energy, and
  • Sunlight which is used for drying clothes, photosynthesis and solar energy.

The key aspect of natural resources is that they dictate the survival of humans and other life forms on Earth.

Types Of Natural Resources

There are two types of Natural resources - these are:

  1. Renewable Resources
  2. Non-renewable Resources

Renewable Resources

Renewable resources are the ones that are consistently available regardless of their use. They can be fairly recovered or replaced after utilization. Examples include vegetation, water, and air.

Non Renewable Resources

Non-renewable resources are the ones that cannot simply be substituted or recovered once they have been utilized or destroyed. Examples of such natural resources include fossil fuels and minerals.

Now that weโ€™ve established what are natural resources, the two types of natural resources, and examples of each, let me get shift focus back to your question, What are some natural resources found in Jamaica?

Jamaica is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, however, the three most recognizable are bauxite, gypsum and limestone.

Bauxite is found mainly in the central parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, St. Catherine, St. Ann, and Trelawny - there are four alumina plants and six mines.

Jamaica has deposits of several million tons of gypsum on the southern slopes of the Blue Mountains while the richest deposits of limestone is found in St. Elizabeth, Portland and Trelawny.
  1. Bauxite

    Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is made or an amorphous clayey rock that is the chief commercial ore of aluminium. It consists largely of hydrated alumina with variable proportions of iron oxides.

    Fact: Did you know that Jamaica contains some of the largest known deposits of bauxite in the world?!

    As the countryโ€™s third highest earner of foreign exchange, with approximately US$1 billion in annual gross earnings, the bauxite and alumina industry continues to be a vital contributor to the Jamaican economy.

    Interested in how bauxite is processed into aluminium?

    How Aluminium is produced from Bauxite

    The first step in producing aluminium is to crush the bauxite and purify it using the Bayer Process. In the Bayer Process, the bauxite is washed in a hot solution of sodium hydroxide, which leaches aluminium from the bauxite.

    The aluminium is precipitated out of solution in the form of aluminium hydroxide, Al(OH)3. The aluminium hydroxide is then calcined to form alumina, Al2O3. Aluminium is smelted from the alumina using the Hall-Heroult Process.

    In the Hall-Heroult Process, the alumina is dissolved in a molten bath of cryolite (Na3AlF6). Molten aluminium is removed from the solution by electrolysis. This process uses an enormous amount of electricity. Aluminium is usually produced where electricity costs are very low.

    Aluminium Mining

    Aluminium mining is a metal naturally found on the earthโ€™s crust in the form of bauxite. Because bauxite is an ore which contains aluminium oxide or alumina, it must be washed and crushed for surface mining. After mining, most of the bauxite is carried to alumina plants where it is refined into alumina.

    Uses of Bauxite

    Bauxite is used as the main raw material for alumina making, which in turn is utilized for aluminium manufacturing. It is also used in a number of non-metallurgical sectors like refractory, abrasive, cement, steel making and chemicals.

  2. Gypsum

    Gypsum is a sedimentary mineral. It is found in layers that were formed under salt water millions of years ago.

    The water evaporated and left the mineral. Gypsum is composed of calcium sulfate (CaSO4) and water (H2O). Gypsum is a rock-like mineral commonly found in the earthโ€™s crust, extracted, processed and used by man in construction or decoration in the form of plaster and alabaster - if added to some bread and dough mixes as a Calcium source and baking aid.

    Gypsum can be found in the Port Royal Mountains of eastern St. Andrew where it is mined by quarrying. It is usually used in Jamaica as a retarder for cement.

    It is ground with cement in the proportion of approximately 1 part to 20 parts of cement. Another use is in the manufacture of plaster of Paris, which is used to make ceiling tiles and plaster.

    Most of the gypsum produced in Jamaica is exported to the USA, where it is made into plaster, which is then used to manufacture wall boards. It is also used as a fertilizer.

    Uses of Gypsum

    • Be used as a filler and fire retardant in plastic products.
    • Be used in Portland cement and special cement products for set and expansion control.
    • Be a source of Calcium and Sulphate Sulphur for plant growth.
    • Be used as a modelling material for tooth restorations.
    • Be an ingredient in many patching compounds.
    • Be used with glass to fabricate large, lightweight architectural decorations.
    • Be used as a mould material to fabricate custom body parts for trucks and automobiles.
    • Be an aid in juice extraction of some fruits and vegetables

  3. Limestone

    Limestone is a hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement.

    It most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters. It is usually an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation of shell, coral, algal, and faecal debris.

    It can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake or ocean water. Most limestones form in shallow, calm, warm marine waters. That type of environment is where organisms capable of forming calcium carbonate shells and skeletons can easily extract the needed ingredients from ocean water.

    When these animals die, their shell and skeletal debris accumulate as sediment that might be lithified into limestone. Their waste products can also contribute to sediment mass.

    Limestones formed from this type of sediment are biological sedimentary rocks. Their biological origin is often revealed in the rock by the presence of fossils.

    Some limestones can form by direct precipitation of calcium carbonate from marine or fresh water. Limestones formed this way are chemical sedimentary rocks.

    Limestone in Jamaica is usually extracted by quarrying in open pits. Vegetation and topsoil must be removed first. Where the limestone is soft, it can easily be ripped using heavy equipment.

    In harder varieties, the limestone may have to be blasted. Jamaican limestone varies from a relatively soft chalk that may be easily ground or crushed, to very hard rock that can only be broken by a hammer or crushed using mechanical crushers.

    Apart from being essential to the production of cement, limestone is also used in building construction and as a fill-in road construction. Limestones can be crushed to form aggregates for construction or cut into large blocks to make slabs for decorative purposes. It may also be incorporated in pharmaceuticals such as antacids or foods like bubble gum.

    Uses of Limestone

    Limestone is a rock with an enormous diversity of uses:

    • Most limestone is made into crushed stone and used as a construction material.
    • It is used as a crushed stone for road bases and railroad ballast.
    • It is used as an aggregate in concrete.
    • It is fired in a kiln with crushed shale to make cement. It is the primary ingredient in Jamaican cement.
    • It is also used in glass manufacturing to allow the components in glass to melt at low temperatures.
    • Used to manufacture lime.

A key driver of the Jamaican economy, these three resources, which drive the local minerals industry in Jamaica, include a range of commercial operations based on their discovery, development, management and utilization.

Whew! Quite a mouthful isn't it?

But good for you... you've just discovered the chief natural resources of Jamaica, how they can be extracted and the uses of each. Now you can impress your friends :-)

We are such a blessed country! 'You nu tink suh?' (Don't you think so?) I welcome your comments below.

Comments for What Are Some Natural Resources Found In Jamaica?

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 12, 2018
Natural resources
by: Carlos Gordon

I grew up in Jamaica and had a partial education which to say the least I didn't graduate from the secondary school system. But looking back on all I was taught was enough to touch on jamaica's relationship and importance in the world.

I learned that we exported many agricultural products during the 70s as well as natural resources like bauxite. I came to realize that one area where Jamaica has struggled is competing for export markets.

Now with all these resources on the island Jamaica can restructure itself to create more jobs for the general public. Another area where the island can improve is market the resources to the public and give incentives to invest in the local economy.

This will reduce the reliability on foreign aid and increase the dollar value on international markets.

Sep 17, 2018
Gooooodd :)
by: Anonymous

This was reallllyyy good but instead , a table should be there to list all the natural resources found in the different parishes of Jamaica :)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to JamaicaQuestions.

Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Get My Latest Book๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿฟ


You asked, I've answered! You no longer need to save for months or years, to enjoy paradise!

JAMAICA On A Budget is your passport to experiencing what I call 'The Real Jamaica' on a budget!

I spilled the beans! sharing my top tips on finding cozy accommodations and secret gems, only the way a native could! Click Here to pick it up on my e-store and start saving now!

See The Best Of Jamaica - In Videos!


My channel reaches over 140,000 subscribers worldwide and has leveraged over 11 million views, sharing, what I call 'The Real Jamaica'. Subscribe today and join our family of viewers.


Read More ...

New! Experience The REAL Jamaica!
Book Your Private Tour here and experience Jamaica the way we (locals) do!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? 
Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.

Back To The Top Of This Page

Like My Site? Please Click Here To Share It With Your Friends

Home   |   JOIN US   |   Site Search   |   Have Your Say   |   Archives   |   Old Archives   |   Contact   |   Disclaimer   |   TIP ME!   |   Link To Us

Do like I did! Share your passion
(about your city, hobby or experience) and make a living from it. Click Here to see how

By Wellesley Gayle   |   Copyright ยฉ 2007-2024   |   All rights Reserved.   |   Privacy Policy