November 5, 2009

Jamalco set to end 2009 with Production Record

Despite the ongoing recession Clarendon-based bauxite/alumina company Jamalco will end 2009 with its best ever production figures - some 100,000 metric tonnes of alumina above its previous record in 2006.  The plant’s name plate capacity is 1.425 million metric tons per annum. This was revealed by Jamalco’s Production Manager Adlai Robinson at a meeting with some 40 business leaders from Clarendon and Manchester at the Halse Hall Great House in Clarendon on Wednesday, November 4.

Mr. Robinson and other members of Jamalco’s executive management team led by Managing Director Jerome Maxwell were briefing the business leaders about the company’s operations and developments in the bauxite/alumina industry against the background of the current recession. 
The Production Manager also told the businessmen and women that the company was achieving this milestone while keeping its product quality high with its customer satisfaction index remaining constant between 95 and 98 percent and driving down maintenance cost ‘without sacrificing the integrity of the equipment.”
In his presentation, Mr. Maxwell gave an overview of the worldwide alumina industry noting  that levels of alumina inventory held by the London Metal Exchange appears to be “getting into balance” as it has remained at 4.5 -4.6 million metric tonnes over the past six months.
Mr. Maxwell told the group that the industry would probably take several years to recover because of the high level of alumina inventory in storage.
He explained that the extended closure of other local alumina refineries had meant added pressure on Jamalco to perform and that the company had risen to the challenge with increased production and improved efficiencies with maintenance cost being reduced by 50%.  He added that safety remains the highest priority with the company’s Total Recordable Injury Rate being better than 2008 and there has been no lost workday due to injury.
Lands and Mine Operations Manager Leighton Jones also gave the leaders an overview of mining activities, noting the company’s plans to commence trucking of a stockpile of bauxite from Mile Gully in Manchester to the railhead at St. Jago shortly. 
He explained that plans have been put in place to minimize the impact of trucking on residents and the environment and to allow local truckers and other persons to benefit from employment contracts.
With respect to community development activities, Corporate Services and Government Affairs Manager Leo Lambert updated the guests on several projects being undertaken by the company. He said that the community projects were “not about charity. It’s about partnership” as Jamalco is willing to assist persons and organizations who demonstrate that they are helping themselves.
He revealed that plans are far advanced for the placement of road safety education signs sponsored by Jamalco along the roadway from Mineral Heights to Lionel Town, at a cost of J$1.5 million,  in response to the number of motor vehicle accidents along this corridor.  “We are determined that not a single life must be lost along this corridor,” he said.
Mr. Lambert also revealed that progress is being made in building capacity among community members with some 90 persons being trained in the Alcoa Foundation sponsored Documentation Skills project in the mine host communities and that this project will be expanded shortly. 
He also disclosed that plans are far advanced to establish a revolving loan fund to provide affordable loans for entrepreneurial projects to groups of persons in Jamalco’s host communities.
The business leaders also asked several questions regarding issues of concern such as government’s plan to source Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to power local refinery operations, and the upsurge in crime in the area. 
They also commended the company for its road safety programme, included the sponsorship of school crossing wardens at seven schools; the mentorship programme organized at Vere Technical High School; and refurbishing work undertaken at the Clarendon Infirmary by the company.
Jamalco convenes quarterly briefings with business leaders in its operating areas and monthly meetings with community councils in its host communities to keep them informed of the company’s activities and address their concerns.

Jerome Maxwell making presentation.

Click image to enlarge.

Managing Director, Jerome Maxwell addressing business leaders at the Halse Hall Great House.