Portland – Geology and Mineral Deposits

The Blue Mountain Range consists of layers of metamorphic and igneous rocks, which contain iron ore deposits.  The rocks in the Rio Grande Valley carry some copper deposits, while in the Marshall Hall area, high-grade manganese ore may be found.


Blue Mountain has the highest peak in the island.  The walk up is a popular trek for the adventurous that seeks the unsurpassed beauty afforded at this elevation. Portland shares the crest of the Blue Mountain peak with St. Thomas at a height of 2,256m above sea level. The Blue Mountain East Peak reaches 2,248m above sea level and a few other points strive to match those heights along the Blue Mountain range: These include Sir John’s Peak at 1,930m above sea level and Portland Gap at a height of 1,675m above sea level.


Portland lies in the direct path of the prevailing northeast trade winds that bring rain, and its hilly features conspire to trap the winds and ensure almost daily rainfall.


Portland – Location & Overview

Portland is the most northeasterly parish in Jamaica. Bounded on the north and northeast by the Caribbean Sea, on the west by St. Mary and on the south by St. Thomas. The parish covers 89.86km of the island’s total coastal area while its maximum width is approximately 20.8km. Portland’s coastline stretches from Hectors River in the east to Windsor Castle in the west.



814 sp. km (approx. 314.3 sq. miles.)




97 persons per sq. km

251 persons per sq. ml

The sometimes-daily rainfall accounts for the lush scenery along the Portland countryside.

The mountains are huge fortresses, rugged, steep, densely forested and seemingly impregnable – layers and layers of mountains seven thousand, four hundred and two feet up to the Blue Mountain Peak.  The Blue Mountain Peak itself is found in both Portland and St Thomas. In contrast to the rugged mountains there is the lush plain of Long Road in east Portland. The seacoast towns of Portland are Hope Bay, Orange Bay, St. Margaret’s Bay and Buff Bay

Forest reserves are on the upper slopes of the Blue Mountain. Along the ranges of the highest elevation point in Jamaica lies 103.6km of unexplored wilderness and rich rain forests. Despite the felling of timber and clearing of the lower slopes, much of Portland’s interior remains inaccessible.