ALPART JAMAICA LIMITED (Alumina Plant)

Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) has its bauxite mining and alumina processing plant located at Nain, St. Elizabeth, in the south of Jamaica. Its current production capacity is approximately 1.7 million tonnes of alumina annually and it is capable of being expanded to more than 2 million tonnes per annum.

The company was first established in the early 1960s under the union of three companies (Anaconda, Kaiser Aluminium and Reynolds Metals). Since then it has undergone several partnership and ownership changes, the last of which took place in 2011, resulting in the company being 100% owned by UC RUSAL Ltd.

Hampered by the global economic recession and soaring energy costs, the Alpart plant was shut down early 2009, and to date operations remain curtailed.

 JAMALCO (Alumina Plant)

Located in Clarendon, Jamalco is a joint-venture association between a limited liability company, Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica (60 per cent Alcoa and 40 per cent Western Mining Corporation of Australia) and Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP), a fully-owned company of the Government of Jamaica. This partnership began in October 1976, with Alcoa as the majority shareholder owning 94 per cent of the shares and Jamaica Bauxite Mining Ltd. (JBM) owning 6 per cent. The association changed in 1988, however, when, under a new agreement, the Government of Jamaica acquired 44 per cent of Alcoa's shares through its subsidiary, CAP, created in 1985 to operate the plant, which was leased following its closure in that year.

Initially, only bauxite was mined and exported from the Rocky Point port in Clarendon, with the first shipment of bauxite leaving for the United States in May 1963. This was followed by the first shipment of alumina nine years later in May 1992, following the construction and opening of the refinery. The current production capacity of this refinery is 1.45 million tonnes per annum.

NORANDA JAMAICA BAUXITE PARTNERS (Bauxite Plant)

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.  

Major expansion work in 2011 resulted in a production capacity boost from 4.5 million tonnes of bauxite per annum to 5.4 million tonnes per annum.

WINDALCO (Alumina Plant)

West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO), formerly Jamalcan, is a joint venture between the UC Rusal and the Government of Jamaica. UC Rusal is the majority shareholder (93% stake) and manages the joint venture. The Government of Jamaica owns the remaining 7% share.

Windalco comprises two alumina plants – Ewarton Works in St. Catherine and Kirkvine Works in Manchester. The company owns bauxite mines in Schwallenburgh (Ewarton) and Russell Place (Kirkvine) and farms in Manchester and St Ann. Shipments depart Jamaica from its shipping port, Port Esquivel.

Alumina processing started at Kirkvine Works in December 1952. With growing demand for alumina in the 1950s, Kirkvine Work's production capacity was expanded in a series of construction programmes, from 220,000 tonnes per year in 1954 to 550,000 tonnes by 1968.

In 1956, construction work began on a second alumina plant at Ewarton in St. Catherine. The plant's initial design capacity called for 250,000 tonnes of alumina per year, with provision for further expansion in its design. Alumina was first produced at Ewarton Works in October 1959.

Today, through the combined capacities of Ewarton Works (670,000 tonnes) and Kirkvine Works (610,000 tonnes), Windalco’s production capacity stands at 1.28 million tonnes of alumina per year.

Production ceased at both plants during the first half of 2009 when depressed market conditions emanating from the recession rendered operations unviable. Ewarton Works returned on stream in the third quarter of 2010, while Kirkvine Works remain closed.