JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Mining and Telecommunications, Laurence Broderick has said that the Government is fully committed to working with new and existing investors in the bauxite and alumina sector, to safeguard its viability and international competitiveness.
He pointed out that the sector has experienced radical changes, noting that one of the challenges impacting the monitoring of the global bauxite and alumina industry is the “rapid change in ownership of the companies.”
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 9, Mr. Broderick said that between 1952 and 1984, activities in the sector were dominated by four companies, Alcan, Alcoa, Reynolds, and Kaiser, which are no longer dominant players.
Entities, which the State Minister said currently underpin activities in the sector are: UCRusAl, Hydro Aluminium, Noranda Aluminium, Century Aluminium, Alcoa, and the Government of Jamaica through Clarendon Alumina Production Limited (CAP), and Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited (JBM).
“In this new dispensation, UCRusAl dominates, accounting for roughly 52 per cent of total alumina production, which represents 23 per cent of the alumina in the UCRusAl network,” Mr. Broderick noted.
Additionally, he said UCRusAl with a 93 per cent stake and JBM with the remaining seven per cent, own alumina plants at Ewarton in St. Catherine, and Kirkvine in Manchester, which are currently operated under the name, West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco). Further, that UCRusAl with 65 per cent holding and Hydro Aluminium with 35 per cent, own Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) in St. Elizabeth.
The State Minister also advised the House that JBM with a 51 per cent stake and American firms, Noranda Aluminium and Century Aluminium, with a joint 49 per cent holding, are equity partners in St. Ann Jamaica Bauxite Partners Limited, formerly Kaiser Jamaica Bauxite Company Limited, in St. Ann. Additionally, that Alcoa with 55 per cent ownership, and the Government, through CAP, with 45 per cent, operate the Jamaica Alumina Company (Jamalco) plant in Clarendon.
Mr. Broderick said that despite the implications of the “rapid” change in ownership of the companies and operations, which include negative effects on funding for investments and sensitivity to local conditions, as well as a “slowing down” in the decision making process, the Government understands the evolution of the industry.