Opposition Demands Answers Regarding Sale Of JAMALCOA Shares
Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Investment, Commerce, Energy & Mining, Karl Samuda, is expressing serious concerns and demanding answers in the wake of the announcement by Alcoa that it intends to dispose of its shares in JAMALCO to the Noble Group of Companies.
Mr Samuda noted that Jamalco is one of the few bauxite entities still in operation, and that the action has to be looked at in the context of the importance of the bauxite industry to not only the workers in the sector and people living in communities which rely on the industry for their general economic activity, but to the people of Jamaica from an employment and foreign exchange earning standpoint. Mr Samuda said it was in this context that the the Opposition is requesting a prompt and detailed statement by mining Minister Phillip Paulwell, explaining the proposed terms and conditions of the announced sale to Noble, and advising of its implications for Jamaica.
Mr Samuda said: "It is imperative that the country be made aware of the full implications this sale will have for the future operations of Jamalco and that we are advised of the actions to be taken by the Government to safeguard Jamaica's interests.”
He continued: "The Government must state clearly and explicitly whether the imminent sale is contingent upon any waiver concessions to be granted to Noble, whether now or in the future, similar to those given to UC Rusal in respect of the continued operations of their Ewarton Plant.”
Mr Samuda noted that the matter is one of considerable public importance, so the Minister must ensure that among other things, people understand clearly how this proposed sale will impact the future operations of Jamalco and their payments of the existing bauxite levy.