Friday, June 5, 2015

Goverment Agencies Reach For Consensus On Cockpit Country

Due to intense public pressure regarding mining in Cockpit Country, government stakeholders are attempting to reach a consensus among themselves. Among those participating in the discussions are the Jamaica Bauxite Institute; the Forestry Department; the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change; the Mines and Geology Division; and the Water Resources Authority.

We now have an estimated dollar value of the potential worth of Cockpit Country to the mining companies.

The Cockpit Country Stakeholders' Group boundary that takes in St Ann, St Elizabeth, St James, and Trelawny, and which would deny access to some 300 million tons of bauxite or US$9 billion.

The Ring Road boundary that takes in Trelawny and St Elizabeth and which would deny access to 150 million tons or US$4.5-billion;

The Sweeting/University of the West Indies (UWI) boundary, projected to incur losses of US$4.2 billion or 140 million tons of bauxite;

The Maroon boundary, comprised of Trelawny and St Elizabeth and which would amount to US$3 billion or 100 million tons of bauxite lost;

The Forestry Reserve boundary that would cause a loss of US$450 million, or 15 million tons of bauxite; and The Jamaica Bauxite Institute boundary, which would incur losses of US$300 million or 10 million tons of the ore.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Noranda Bauxite Limited and Jamaica

Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners

Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, formerly St. Ann Bauxite Jamaica Limited and prior to that Kaiser Jamaica Bauxite Company, is a partnership between Noranda Bauxite Limited (NBL), a Jamaican limited liability company, and the Government of Jamaica. Noranda Bauxite Limited has a 49% interest in the partnership and holds and operates the physical mining assets and operations.  The Government of Jamaica owns the remaining 51 percent.

A concession from the Government of Jamaica permits Noranda Bauxite Limited to mine bauxite in Jamaica through 2030. Bauxite is mined at St. Ann and the ore is transported via railway to Port Rhoades. There, it is dried and shipped to its customers. A considerable portion of the bauxite mined at St. Ann is shipped to the Gramercy refinery in Louisiana, where it is refined into alumina.  

Noranda Aluminum faces new challenges in Jamaica, Missouri

Jamaican government is suing Noranda

Louisville, Kentucky (Platts)--2Jun2015/539 pm EDT/2139 GMT

US aluminum producer Noranda Aluminum is facing fresh challenges on two fronts, it emerged this week.

The first is a lawsuit by the government of Jamaica to suspend the company's bauxite exports, the second an Ameren Missouri warning it will terminate an existing power contract with Noranda's 263,000 mt/year New Madrid primary aluminum smelter in May 2020.

John Parker, spokesman for the Franklin, Tennessee-based company, said Tuesday that Noranda is addressing both issues and believes they will not have any immediate impact on the company's operations.

On May 29, the Jamaican government sued Noranda in a court on the island in a dispute over the payment of production levies on bauxite, the raw material for production of the alumina used in the aluminum-making process. Noranda produces bauxite at a mine in St. Ann, Jamaica.

A court hearing on the government's request for an injunction to halt Noranda's export of bauxite is expected later in June.

Millions of dollars are at stake in the levy dispute.

According to Parker, the government wants Noranda to pay $7.50/mt for bauxite it mines on the island, compared with the $2.50/mt it currently pays. The mine produces about 4.5 million mt/year of ore, according to the company. The two sides were in arbitration over the levy amount before the legal action was filed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jamaica Environment Trust expresses alarm at bauxite mining in Cockpit Country

The Government commissioned a Cockpit Country boundary study to be done by the University of the West Indies (UWI) and this was completed in 2008, the release said. The public consultation process on mining in Cockpit Country as well as the proposed boundaries was done in 2013.

The report released in September 2013 concluded: “The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) should not authorise any form of exploration of mineral deposits, mining and quarrying activity within the Cockpit Country as the level of emotion is too high and level of opposition and resistance by community members and leaders, CBOs, NGOs, and civil society organisations, some Government of Jamaica agencies and members of the academic community may not provide enough guarantee and confidence for potential investors.”