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Chinese firm plans US$3bn expansion at Jamaica alumina plant

Bnamericas Published: Friday, November 17, 2017
Chinese firm plans US$3bn expansion at Jamaica alumina plant

China's Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) is investing US$3bn in an expansion of its Alpart alumina plant in Jamaica.

The investment will lift alumina production capacity to 2.0Mt/y by 2020 from 1.65Mt, Jamaican transport and mining minister Mike Henry said in a government information service (JIS) release.

JISCO is currently working to restart production at Alpart after acquiring the plant from Russia's Rusal in November 2016.

Operations were halted in 2009 due to falling metal prices, JIS reported previously. The first 35,000t shipment is expected on December 5, according to JIS.

The Alpart property also includes mines with combined production capacity of 4.9Mt/y bauxite, according to information on Rusal's website.

INVESTMENT

JISCO's investment at Alpart includes construction of a US$500mn, 230MW liquefied natural gas power plant and an aluminum foil and stainless steel plant, as well as sheet and welding rod plants, JIS said.

It will also involve expanding Port Kaiser to accommodate mega ships and housing and support infrastructure for workers and investors.

Jamaica was the world's sixth biggest bauxite producer in 2016, with total output of 8.50Mt, according to the US Geological Survey.

Bauxite miners in the country include Jamalco, a JV between Noble Group and Clarendon Alumina Production, and Noranda Bauxite, owned by US-based DADA Holdings.

MINERALS POLICY

Jamaica's cabinet will shortly receive a submission on the country's national minerals policy, related to the management and development of the country's mineral resources, Henry said in a separate JIS release.

The draft document will outline proposed legislative changes and the shake-up of agencies responsible for implementing different aspects of the policy.

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