JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding officially commissioned into operation a new rope conveyor system, at Jamalco’s Mount Oliphant mining operation in Manchester, on Friday (August 28).
Mr. Golding used the opportunity to laud the efforts that the company has been making to keep its mining operation running.
He said that investment in technology was one of the main things that has kept the plant going, and recommended that other alumina companies follow their example of operating efficiently, when the market booms again.
“The tremendous achievement of Jamalco cannot be overstated. It is not an accident, it is not incidental that of the four refineries that we have in Jamaica, Jamalco, is the only one that is still operating,” he said.
He was addressing Jamalco and Alcoa officials, as well as community members and personnel from the Ministry of Energy and Mining, at the Mount Oliphant office.
Mr. Golding told the gathering that the crises that hit the alumina market, was such that it collapsed plants in many countries across the world, and most of those that withstood the effects were the ones which had constantly upgraded their operations.
“When bauxite price plunged, as they did to the point where alumina was trading at less than US$1300 dollars a ton, you recognised that there was virtually no plant in the world that could have remained open indefinitely at that sought of price,” he said.
“One important factor is that, over the years, almost as if it knew that the global recession was coming, the company had invested a considerable amount of money in improving the technology, in retooling, in making sure that this plant was kept as close to the cutting edge, as possible,” the Prime Minister added.
He said that Jamalco has taught the lesson that “even if you build a new plant to day, never sit and believe that you don’t have to constantly look to see what more can be done, based on new development in technology.”
“It is to the credit of the shareholders and management of Jamalco that they saw that, if you are to stay alive, you have to innovate. You have to constantly improve levels of efficiency,” he stated.

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