Paulwell says UC Rusal claims are contradicting
Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell is maintaining that the recent claims made by UC Rusal regarding the bauxite plant in Ewarton St. Catherine, contradict what he was told earlier this month.
The minister and other bauxite industry stakeholders met today with the country manager for the Russian alumina company, to clarify issues relating to operations at the Ewarton plant.
The meeting follows Mr. Paulwells revelation in parliament on Tuesday that the plant was to be closed down in October, for one year, resulting in the loss of over 600 jobs.
Mr. Paulwell had indicated that he announced that the Ewarton plant would have been closed for a year, based on verbal notification from UC Rusal’s country manager.
Earlier today, UC Rusal issued its own statement, seeking to clarify that the company has not decided on closing down the plant.
UC Rusal says in accordance with the company’s adopted procedures, decisions on capacity curtailments and plants’ closures are in the competence of its board of directors.
It says so far, the company’s board has not considered issues related to capacity closures, and has not taken any decision with this regard.
UC Rusal adds that such issues are not on the agenda of the company's board for its next several meetings.
Therefore, the alumina company says the information about the closure of the Ewarton plant in October this year does not correspond to the reality.
However, in a counter claim this afternoon, Mr. Paulwell says UC Rusal's country manager submitted a copy of the Russian company's press statement to him during today’s meeting.
Mr. Paulwell says the written statement is contrary to what was previously communicated to him verbally, during the meeting on July 6.
In the meantime, Mr. Paulwell says he is awaiting legal advice from the attorney general, regarding the mining licenses of two other plants previously operated by UC Rusal.
The plants are the ALPART refinery in Nain, St. Elizabeth and the Kirkvine refinery in Manchester.