JIS News

Employees of St. Ann Jamaica Bauxite Partners (SAJBP) will resume the full work schedule by December as the company, yesterday (Sept. 2), announced plans to boost production.
Chief Operations Officer at Noranda Intermediate Holding Corporation, Kyle Lorentzen, addressing a meeting of workers, government officials and industry stakeholders at the Kaiser Sports Club in Discovery Bay, said that production will be ramped up over the next 90 days, with the aim of achieving an annual rate of 4.2 tonnes.
A total of 3 million tonnes of bauxite are produced annually at the plant located on the north coast.
SAJBP’s President, Larry Holley, told JIS News that the company has the capability for “something around 4.5 million or maybe a little better than that on an annualised basis and we would certainly like to have all of that production moving.”
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, who attended the meeting, indicated that within a year, some 110 shipments should leave the SABL’s port in Discovery Bay. “This is a very promising prospect, which means the trains will have to run and the plant will have to run almost at full output,” he said.
He also commended the workers for “holding strong” through a difficult period.
In April of this year the employees at SAJBP had agreed to have their work hours reduced by three days per month, or one and a half days per fortnight, which amounted to a 14 per cent cut in their salaries.
“What you have been through in this industry and at St. Ann Bauxite was frightening. You saw colleagues, who lost their jobs, and many of you saw your paychecks cut at a time when prices were rising.
“You had options, you had choices, but you decided that you were going to batten down and weather the storm,” the Minister said, assuring that the government was doing its best to get the bauxite industry back to full production as quickly as possible.
Employees at SAJBP were more than happy to hear the news. “I welcome this move that Noranda has made and I think that as a worker, it will make a positive impact on us as a workforce,” said Mobile Equipment Training Officer at SAJBP, Reginald Thorpe.
“It gives us hope and vision for the future and that is very critical especially in this recession and everything,” he told JIS News.
Another employee, Alvin Dennis, praised Noranda for having the confidence in SAJBP. “It is good to know that we have somebody that is still interested in Jamaica and the production of our bauxite and shipments. Definitely, we will not let them down,” he stated.
The United States-based Noranda Intermediate Holding Corporation has a 49 per cent stake in SAJBP, having recently acquired the interests of Century Alumina Company. The Jamaica government owns the other 51 per cent.

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