Government Involvement


Since 1974, the government has set up several agencies to manage its enlarged interest in the industry. The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) began operating in 1976 to advise, monitor, and implement policies on all aspects of the industry, as well as to conduct technical and economic research. Jamaica Bauxite Mining (JBM) was set up by the government to hold the assets acquired from entering into partnerships or joint ventures with the companies. The Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company (BATCO) was established to carry out commercial trading activities on behalf of the other government entities. Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP) was formed in 1985 to manufacture and sell alumina at the leased JAMALCO plant, which had shut down operations. With the re-entry of ALCOA in 1988, CAP became a joint-venture partner with an equal share in the plant.


At present, Jamaica has one bauxite company, Kaiser Jamaica Bauxite Company, and three refining operations, JAMALCAN, JAMALCO and ALPART. In 1985, the government acquired all the local assets of Reynolds, which had folded its operations in 1984.


ALPART closed its plant in 1985, and reopened it in 1988 under a joint-venture arrangement, with Kaiser holding 65 per cent of the equity and Hydro Aluminium, a major Norwegian company, owing 35 per cent.