Sat | Apr 1, 2023
The Classics

Photo FlashBack: Bauxite’s big boost to Jamaica

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2023 | 11:49 PM
Bauxite being dumped into hopper at Comfort. It is then transported by one of the longest conveyors in the West Indies to the Kaiser railroad.
The book stacker unloading bauxite on to the wet stockpile at Port Kaiser.
An aerial view of Alumina Jamaica’s second alumina plant which started small-scale production of alumina at the end of October 1959. This plant has a rated production capacity of 250,000 tons of alumina per year, half that of Kirkvine Works.
Drying Kilns are used in the drying operations with an hourly capacity of 50 tons each. They are fired by Bunker “C” Fuel Oil, which is pumped from Ocho Rios.

Three bauxite companies, Alumina Jamaica Ltd, Kasier Bauxite Co, and Reynolds Jamaica Mines Ltd, mined nearly six million tons of ore in 1958. Bauxite exports were 5.8 million tons, alumina exports £373,000 tons, both together valued at £21,700,000 – 40 per cent of this territory’s export receipts in that year. Since the beginning of operations in 1952, nearly 30 million tons of bauxite have been mined.

The industry’s direct contribution to the island’s general revenue showed a phenomenal rise over the four-year period. Royalties and income tax payments were £371,000 at the end of March 1957, rose to £2,981,000 by March 1958, and climbed still higher to £4,453,000 at the end of March 1959.