MANDEVILLE, Sept. 23 (JIS):
Two of the island’s largest alumina producing companies, Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) and West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO), have come together to establish a $62,000,000 disaster relief assistance fund.
The primary objective of the fund is to provide hurricane assistance to employees and communities that are located in the immediate mining areas of both companies.
Since the passage of Hurricane Ivan, the two mining companies have been directly involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bringing relief to affected communities. These include the trucking of water to hospitals, repairing of roadways and donating emergency supplies to shelters.
Communications Officer at WINDALCO, Kayon Wallace-Headley, told JIS News that information would be sought from agencies such as the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) and the Ministries of Health and Education to provide assistance in those areas.
Mrs. Wallace-Headley stated that the assistance to employees would cover personnel working at the companies’ plants across the island. For ALPART, this comprises plants in St. Elizabeth and the mining venture in Manchester, while for WINDALCO, this consists of the Kirkvine plant in Manchester; Ewarton and Port Esquivel in St. Catherine, and the Schwallenburgh and Moneague mines in St. Ann.
General Managers, Darrel Harriman (ALPART) and Michael Collins (WINDALCO) in a joint statement, reiterated the commitment of both companies to Jamaica’s human resource development.
“This contribution is in recognition of the high esteem in which the shareholders hold the employees and is an _expression of the deep concern we share with employees and communities that have suffered losses and trauma from the disaster,” the statement said in part.
On average, it is estimated that 4.5 production days were lost to the bauxite/alumina sector as a result of Hurricane Ivan.
The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has noted that while the loss of production was significant it could be made up.
CONTACT: PETER J. KAVANAUGH
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE