On July 19, 2016, mining conglomerate, UC Rusal, finalized a private commercial transaction with China’s Jinquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCo) for the sale of ALPART, one of Jamaica’s largest bauxite plants whose operations have been significantly scaled down since 2009.
This transaction holds great potential for the development, revival and expansion of the mining sector and other related value-added industries including aluminum, limestone and cement.
Discussions with JISCo have been ongoing and transcend political administrations. Investments of this nature must be done in full consultation with the Government in order to ensure structured implementation on a sustainable basis.
Given the recent conclusion of the sale transaction which established new ownership and the expected visit of the principals of JISCo in September 2016, the Government is preparing to receive and consider the definitive plans regarding the development of ALPART. The Government is coordinating across all relevant Ministries and Agencies in preparation for these discussions.
The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica has arranged a series of consultative meetings and on August 8, 2016, one such meeting was held with representatives of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), the National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). Consultations are currently being arranged with the Climate Control Advisory Committee and other stakeholders.
Given the magnitude and nature of the proposed development, Prime Minister Holness has directed NEPA to ensure that it has the requisite expertise to effectively assess, monitor and advise the Government.
The Administration is closely following the public discourse surrounding the proposed developments and takes note of the concerns raised as well as the benefits anticipated by various interests and stakeholders. In this context the Government of Jamaica re-affirms its commitment to a transparent and rigorous process of balancing our economic growth aspirations, our environmental imperatives and our international obligations.