The Minister of Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell says with falling world oil prices, he’s anticipating an improvement in the performance of Jamaica’s bauxite industry.
Last week the world’s largest aluminium company UC RUSAL, completed a transaction to obtain the remaining 7-percent of property rights in West Indies Alumina Company, WINDALCO, from the Jamaican government.
Rusal noted that the agreement to fully consolidate the bauxite and alumina complex is in line with its strategy to provide its plants with in-house raw materials.
Minister Paulwell says that agreement is proof that the prospects for the bauxite industry are good.
Meanwhile Minister Paulwell says the Rare Earth pilot extraction project was a success.
The Jamaican government partnered with Japan’s Nippon Light Metals to undertake the project.
That project sought to determine whether rare earth elements existed in commercially viable quantities in the red mud waste produced at the end of the bauxite refinery process.
However Nippon Light has indicated that its unlikely to invest in a full fledged project at this time, given the slump in the price for the commodity on the world market.
But Minister Paulwell says he’s optimistic about the future.
Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell.