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Noranda files for bankruptcy in US

Published:Monday | February 8, 2016 | 2:33 PM

Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation has filed for bankruptcy in the United States, where it is based.

This latest move could frustrate the Jamaican government's efforts to get billions owed to it under the bauxite levy.

Jamaica has a 51 per cent stake in the company's local subsidiary, Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Limited.

The parent company informed today that it filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised restructuring process under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Noranda says it has taken this action to have additional time and financial flexibility to evaluate options for its various business operations.

Noranda's President and Chief Executive Officer, Kip Smith, says the board took the decision in light of challenging market conditions for the aluminum industry and the recent disruptions in their primary business operations.

The company says the Jamaican subsidiary is continuing production and its partnership with the Government of Jamaica at its Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners mine in St Ann, Jamaica.

Meanwhile, the company is also seeking court authorisation to support its business operations during the court-supervised process, including the payment of employee wages, salaries and health and disability benefits.

The company says it expects to receive court approval for those requests shortly.