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Noranda Bauxite to cut 100 workers

Published:Friday | April 23, 2010 | 4:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

The St Ann-based Noranda Bauxite Ltd, which announced a 25 per cent increase in production a year ago, amid a down-turn in bauxite demand worldwide, is to make the jobs of 100 contract workers redundant.

It is unclear when the workers will be cut but sources indicate that the company has already started offering counselling and business sessions to the workers.

The workers to be affected are said to be those in the mining division.

Pansy Johnson, general manager, declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

Johnson, however, disclosed that a release would be issued to media houses today.

The impending cuts come just over a week after it was announced that another bauxite company, Windalco, would be reopening its Ewarton plant in June. That announcement came only a month after the company had made 762 workers redundant after the facility was closed in 2009.

The announcement triggered comments from economists who suggested the reopening was a sign that the global economy was improving.

Phased increase

Noranda Bauxite, in the meantime, had announced a 25 per cent phased increase in bauxite production when it assumed management of St Ann Bauxite Partners last April. The increase meant the company's 580 workers returned to a full work schedule.

The increased production schedule meant that export figures would have moved from 3.1 million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes over the 12-month period up to April 2010.

It is unclear if this target was met.

The company changed its name in from St Ann Jamaica Bauxite Partners to Noranda Bauxite in September 2009.