Opposition Spokesman on Mining, Phillip Paulwell, is calling on the government to be proactive in preventing any possible shut down of the JISCO Alpart Alumina Plant in St. Elizabeth.
In recent weeks, JISCO and the government announced it’s delaying the upgrade of the refinery until 2020.
It also emerged that JSICO is considering closing the refinery for up to a year to carry out the upgrade.
Speaking on Nationwide This Morning, the Opposition Spokesman on Mining says ‘darker days’ could be coming in the immediate future of the plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth.
This, against the background of a downturn in the world market prices of aluminum.
Mr. Pauwell expressed concern because he says the upgrade could take up to three years.
He’s calling on the government to be proactive in preventing any possible shut down of the plant.
The price per tonne for aluminum on the world market is 17-hundred dollars today.
Mr. Pauwell says during the 2008 recession when Alpart was closed, the world market price per tonne for aluminum fell to less than 14-hundred dollars.
JISCO’s Chairman, Dexin Chen is in Jamaica meeting with stakeholders and is expected to pronounce on the future of Alpart.
Mr. Pauwell is calling on the government to establish a National Mining Council.
He says the Council would be a proactive approach to focus on issues surrounding mining in Jamaica.
He was speaking on Nationwide This Morning with Dennis Brooks and Kalilah Reynolds.