Government to settle US$33-million bauxite debt to Glencore
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The massive slowdown of bauxite mining in Jamaica has led to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips turning up in Parliament with a withdrawal order to settle a US$33-million debt as a result of the failure of Jamaica Bauxite Mines to make good on an alumina supply agreement with Glencore.
Phillips said that, arising out of the failure to supply Glencore with bauxite under an existing agreement, the country has been left with a heavy debt, and US$6 million is required for the first two payments due to Glencore in the new fiscal year.
The finance minister said the balance of US$23.6 million is to be provided in equal quarterly payments in addition to eight per cent interest per year up to 2016-2017.
Jamaica Bauxite Mines had entered into a bauxite supply arrangement with Glencore in 2002 to facilite the borrowing of US$65 million.
However, with a slowdown in the world economy and the closure of some of the country's bauxite plants, Jamalco failed to supply 1,755 tons of bauxite to Glencore.
Phillips said that when the contract ended in December 2012, Jamaica Bauxite Mines owed US$33 million.
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