Bauxite is named after the French village of Les Baux in Provence. In 1821, French Geologist Pierre Berthier discovered bauxite nearby. Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a high aluminium content.
In Jamaica, the mines in Water Valley have a rich history. Although discovered in 1942, the first recorded date of production was dated back in 1967. Jamaica is almost unique in world mining history. From its inception, emphasis has been placed on the reclamation and rehabilitation of the mined-out bauxite lands.
Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners chemically converts bauxite into alumina, the raw material from which primary aluminium is produced. We recycle used oil from our mobile equipment and others in Jamaica to fuel our bauxite drying process. We routinely build water catchment reservoirs designed to catch and retain natural rainwater. These reservoirs allow for more effective water use to help control dust in and around our mining areas. They also provide a sustainable water source for agricultural and greenhouse developments that are a significant part of our reclamation and community enrichment programmes for the areas in which we operate.
In 2009, through a partnership with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, and the Jamaica Greenhouse Association, Noranda started a greenhouse project with three greenhouses in Burnt Ground and two water-storage areas. Since then, we have partnered with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund to launch a programme introducing approximately 300 greenhouses across the island. In addition to mining bauxite, we implement environmentally friendly long-term projects that allow residents to derive greater economic and social benefits from their surrounding environment. We work hard to ensure the lands we mine are effectively reclaimed for greenhouse initiatives and other uses by local farmers and residents alike.
At Noranda, we make every effort to be environmentally conscious. As such, we support the implementation of proper waste management systems for our company. A significant part of our mission is to establish a comprehensive environmental sustainability programme and adequate waste management systems to help reduce plastic waste.