(Recasts with comments from Alcoa)
By Horace Helps
KINGSTON, June 13 Alcoa Inc will pull out
of Jamaica within two years and sell its mining interests to
Noble Group Ltd, Alcoa and the Jamaican government
said on Friday.
Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica (AMJ) and the Jamaican government
are joint venture partners in Jamalco, a bauxite mining and
alumina refining operation.
AMJ has a 55 percent stake in Jamalco, with the remaining 45
percent held by the Jamaican government through its holding
company Clarendon Alumina Production Ltd (CAP). The plant is
managed by Alcoa.
In a statement, New York-based Alcoa said its decision was
part of a "global strategy to reshape its upstream portfolio and
lower the cost base of its commodity business."
The statement said Alcoa would retain a minority interest in
Jamalco and serve as its managing operator for at least two
Alcoa, which has been in Jamaica for 55 years, also
confirmed that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with
Noble Resources UK Limited to pursue a sale of its ownership
stake in AMJ.
Noble could not be reached immediately for comment.
Noble is a leading global supply chain company of
agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals. It
entered the Jamaica bauxite and alumina sector last year, when
it agreed to provide a line of financing to CAP between 2013 and
2016 and buy alumina at improved prices, the Jamaican government
The government said Alcoa would continue to operate as the
managing partner of Jamalco with 11 percent interest in the
joint venture for at least two years, and with an opportunity to
continue as a technical adviser for a further seven years.
(Editing by David Adams, Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)