Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Jamaica files claim in Noranda bankruptcy case in the United States

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 8:41 PM
Last year, the Government sought a court injunction to stop Noranda Jamaica from exporting bauxite unless it agrees to pay the full tax rate of US$7.56 per tonne of bauxite it exports from Jamaica.

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

The Government has filed a claim in the bankruptcy case involving Noranda Aluminium Holding Corporation seeking to recover debts owed to it.

State Minister in the Finance Ministry, Fayval Williams,  confirmed that the filing was made but could not say when it happened.

Today is the deadline for government creditors to file their claims.

Williams, could not immediately state the value of the debt being sought by the Jamaican government.

However, she confirmed that the arrears include the more than $3.5 billion that Noranda Jamaica, the local subsidiary of the United States-based Noranda Aluminium Holding Corporation, owes to the government in bauxite levy.

Last year, the Government sought a court injunction to stop Noranda Jamaica from exporting bauxite unless it agrees to pay the full tax rate of US$7.56 per tonne of bauxite it exports from Jamaica.


IN PHOTO: Fayval Williams

The bauxite company insisted that it should instead pay $2.52.

But in December 2015, the court ruled in favour of the Jamaican government, which has a 51 per cent stake in Noranda Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Williams says negotiations are ongoing with Noranda Jamaica regarding its operations.

The State Minister says the government is trying as best as possible to preserve jobs as well as to minimise any possible fallout at the bauxite company.

Since filing for bankruptcy in the US in February, Noranda has implemented several changes to its operations including making redundant the positions of several workers.