Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon James Robertson, has congratulated the Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners (NJBP) on their achievements over the past year, and their commitment to the mining sector.
“The mining sector is the only sector that showed economic growth last year, and commendations must be given to Noranda and its team. The importance you have played in recent times in our economy cannot be overstated,” Mr. Robertson said.
He was speaking at the Jewel Dunn’s River Resort in Mammee Bay, St. Ann on Tuesday (September 21), at a luncheon to mark Noranda’s first anniversary of operations in Jamaica.
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (L) greets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Noranda Aluminum, Layle ‘Kip’ Smith, at the Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners’ (NJBP) luncheon on Tuesday (September 21). The Luncheon which marked Noranda’s first year of operations in Jamaica was held at the Jewel Dunn’s River Resort in Mammee Bay, St. Ann. At centre is former Member of Parliament for South West St. Ann, Dr. Neville Gallimore.
It was on September 1, 2009 that Noranda Aluminum purchased the shares formerly held by Century Aluminum in St. Ann Jamaica Bauxite Partners. The purchase gave Noranda 49 percent ownership and management responsibilities for the company, with the Government of Jamaica retaining the other 51 percent.
Focusing on Noranda’s most recent announcement, to invest US$150 million in the island’s bauxite industry over the next five years, Mr. Robertson said it is expected that this will take place in less than five years.
“Very recently we were able to establish how we are going to modernize and diversify Jamaica’s energy frontier, which has a direct tie to the bauxite and aluminum industry,” he said.
“In doing that, you will have the option of investing further in energy efficiencies and modernization and the investment that we are celebrating here today at the end of your first year is going to possibly double,” he added, while wishing God’s blessings and future successes on Noranda’s operations.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Noranda Aluminum, Layle ‘Kip’ Smith, said that the level of achievement in the first year for the NJBP was unprecedented.
“The real miracle in this first year is what the people have done, because we went from survival and renewal to growth in less than a year,” Mr. Smith said. He thanked the Jamaican Government for their support during the first year of the company’s operation in the country.