Beginning in the new academic year, three students from the island’s bauxite parishes who wish to study in the field of science, technology or sport, at the under graduate level, will benefit from scholarships tenable at any local university, annually.
This is being made possible through a scholarship Foundation, which has been launched by global mining company, Glencore International, in partnership with the Bauxite Alumina Trading Company (BATCO), of Jamaica.
Speaking at the launch of the $17 million Foundation, today (June 15), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson welcomed the initiative.
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (left), and representative of Glencore International, Steven Blumgart sign the agreement for the establishment of the $17 million Glencore Scholarship Foundation, which will be managed by the Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company (BATCO), of Jamaica. Observing the proceeding, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, today (June 15), is Managing Director of BATCO, Coy Roach.
“Glencore’s relationship in Jamaica goes back 49 years, to the beginning of our bauxite sector. The bauxite/alumina industry, singularly, took the hardest hit coming out of the world crisis in commodities, over the last 24 months, and for them to come back to the table to help the bauxite development communities, by helping their children, is the right signal,” he argued.
Meanwhile, he expressed appreciation to Glencore for committing an additional one-time lump sum of US$50,000 (J$4.3 million) to benefit a wider range of students, including those from St. Thomas, where non-bauxite mining activities also take place. This sum will be channeled through the Ministry, and managed by the Foundation, Mr. Robertson informed.
The Minister said that Glencore would not only be remembered for the thousands of tonnes of alumina that it has traded out of Jamaica over the years, but also by the students who would be chosen each year, and who would make an impact in their communities. “It is in times of crises that we need a hand, and this Foundation forms part of a true community outreach,” Mr. Robertson added.
Representative of Glencore, Steven Blumgart, said the company hoped to keep the scholarship running for many years, and “we hope to keep our close involvement and friendship with Jamaica going for many years to come.”
Recipients of the scholarship must be below the age of 30, have resided for at least five years in one of the bauxite mining parishes (St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine, Manchester, St. Ann, and Clarendon); and have already been accepted for full time study, or if they are already in full-time study, should have a minimum B average. Students will not be bonded, but must make themselves available to Glencore, Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited or BATCO, for the purpose of promoting the Glencore Scholarship Fund. The applicant must also be able to prove genuine need.