Alcoa and Noble Group Ltd. have signed a definitive agreement that will result in Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) selling 100% of its ownership stake in the Jamalco bauxite mining and alumina refining joint-venture in Jamaica to Noble for $140 million. AWAC will continue as the managing operator for three years under a compensated service agreement. The sale was expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Jamalco joint venture is owned 55% by Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica (AMJ) and 45% by Clarendon Alumina Production Ltd., a Jamaican government company. AMJ is part of the AWAC joint venture, which is owned 60% by Alcoa and 40% by Alumina Ltd.
Jamalco’s bauxite mines, alumina refinery, and port facility are located in south-central Jamaica. The refinery has capacity to produce 1.425 million mt/y of alumina.
“The decision to sell AWAC’s stake in Jamalco is in line with Alcoa’s global strategy to reshape its upstream portfolio and lower the cost base of our commodity business,” Bob Wilt, president of Alcoa Global Primary Products, said.
Noble Group manages a portfolio of global supply chains covering a range of industrial and energy products. The company sources bulk commodities from low-cost regions such as South America, South Africa, Australia, and Indonesia and supplies high-growth markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.
Mark Hansen, head of the group’s Metals Division, said, “This transaction will provide Noble with an additional 778,800 mt/y of alumina off-take while the Jamaican government retains its 45% ownership of the joint venture.”