JISCO Invests US$360 in Alpart

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (right), looks on as Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry (centre), plants a tree to mark the reopening of the JISCO/Alpart alumina plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth, on June 21. At left is Chairman of JISCO, Chen Chunming.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, says new owner of the Alpart alumina plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth, Jiuquan Iron & Steel Company Limited (JISCO), has already invested in excess of US$360 million on its Jamaican operation.
  • In his address at the reopening ceremony, Mr. Henry pointed out that the company intends to invest some US$2 billion in the sector over time, including a new alumina plant.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, says new owner of the Alpart alumina plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth, Jiuquan Iron & Steel Company Limited (JISCO), has already invested in excess of US$360 million on its Jamaican operation.

Mr. Henry noted that the Chinese company paid US$299 million to acquire Alpart and more than US$60 million to facilitate its reopening on June 21.

In his address at the reopening ceremony, Mr. Henry pointed out that the company intends to invest some US$2 billion in the sector over time, including a new alumina plant.

“What we are witnessing today is a prelude to a scale of investment never before seen in this industry,” the Minister said.

“The positive impact of JISCO/Alpart reopening is being felt in the economies of St. Elizabeth and Manchester… even in sections of Clarendon,” he noted, adding that hotels and guest houses are reporting high occupancy levels, while shops, wholesale stores, bars, farm stores, supermarkets and various other establishments are reporting increased business.

The Minister said the Government is working round the clock to craft appropriate policy and legislation to underpin what is now a much energised mining industry.

This, he said, would not only enable the country to better manage its mineral resources, but will also create a proper environment where the people’s right to land is respected.

Mr. Henry further noted that the Ministry is also busy getting other areas of the mining industry up and running, noting that the National Minerals Policy is in the final drafting stage and will be presented to Cabinet shortly.

“It is of vital importance to have this ready in the shortest possible time. As the mineral sector revives, we must protect our mineral resources, grow and diversify the sector and live harmoniously with the environment,” he said.

He added that embedded in the new policy is a framework to facilitate continued investment in the bauxite and alumina industry and attract more significant investments in the industrial and metallic minerals sector.

“This includes prospecting for gold and copper. Carube Copper out of Canada has been granted a licence, and they have already begun prospecting activities. The latest report from them is that the prospects are extremely good,” the Minister said

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