More Benefits in Processing Bauxite Locally – Mining Minister

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, foresees an inevitable cessation in the export of bauxite, noting that there are more long- term benefits in having it processed here in Jamaica.
  • Mr. Paulwell said there are telling examples now emerging worldwide, where some leading bauxite countries have either put a lid on, or have placed some restrictions on exports.
  • Mr. Paulwell said the realisation is that as long as Jamaica continues to sell its ore to producers, “all we are going to get is what we deserve for not adding value right here.”

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, foresees an inevitable cessation in the export of bauxite, noting that there are more long- term benefits in having it processed here in Jamaica.

Addressing stakeholders, delegates and leaders of trade unions representing workers at the St. Ann-based Noranda Bauxite Limited (NBL), at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, on January 30, Mr. Paulwell said there are telling examples now emerging worldwide, where some leading bauxite countries have either put a lid on, or have placed some restrictions on exports.

“There is now a shortage of bauxite worldwide. Indonesia has banned the export of bauxite, while Malaysia recently put a stop order on theirs also. We are seeing the same thing happening in Vietnam, India, Brazil, Guinea and other bauxite-producing nations,” the Minister noted.

Mr. Paulwell said the realisation is that as long as Jamaica continues to sell its ore to producers, “all we are going to get is what we deserve for not adding value right here.”

“So, the long-term aim has to be to maximise the full benefits of the sector by having our bauxite processed here,” the Minister emphasised.

Mr. Paulwell said he is cognisant that there are arrangements in place with foreign companies that will have to be honoured and that the Government has no intention to renege on any contract that is already in place.

“I must reiterate though, that the long-term aim is for the Government, and I am hoping for every other Government that comes for the next 50 years, to deny the export of bauxite,” he said.

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