Record Production For Bauxite/Alumina Last Year


Production in the bauxite/alumina sector for 2002 was recorded at 13.12 million tonnes, which reflects a 6.1 per cent increase over 2001.
As stated in the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI)’s annual report for 2002, the production figures were the highest since 1974.
The report said that despite disruptions in production due to bad weather in May, June and August, as well as damage to Alumina Partners of Jamaica’s (ALPART) cable belt, alumina production rose to 3.63 million tonnes, which is a 2.5 percent increase over the 3.54 million tonnes produced during the previous year.
In addition, crude bauxite produced for export exceeded 4.07 million tonnes, showing an increase of 11.9 percent above the total amount produced for 2001. This marks the first time that crude bauxite production has reached the 4 million tonne mark since the explosion in July 1999 at Kaiser’s Gramercy refinery in the United States. This refinery was responsible for processing most of Jamaica’s bauxite exports.
However, despite increased production, revenues for export remained stagnant due to low international prices for alumina and rise in oil prices. The return to normal export levels for crude bauxite was not enough to make up for the reduced income from alumina and as a result, gross export earnings fell by 3.3 percent to US$712 million.
Nevertheless, the report said that the Jamaica Aluminum Company’s refinery was on target to complete its 25 percent expansion to 1.25 million tonnes by year-end, while ongoing expansion at ALPART will increase the plant’s production capacity by a further 130,000 tonnes to 1.57 million tonnes.

JIS Social