Russia-based aluminium company UC Rusal is set to resume mining at the Alpart bauxite/alumina plant in Nain, St Elizabeth, next month in Jamaica, while the refinery will reopen in December 2016.
Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell made the announcement at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister after reaching an agreement with the company.
Paulwell said that the deal will aid the mining and export of up to two million tonnes of raw bauxite over the next 18 months, and will have an estimated value of $60m.
According to the minister, bauxite mining will resume in January, while the export of ore will not commence before July 2015.
The minister said: "The new deal represents an expression of the government’s commitment to ensure that the full potential of the bauxite/alumina industry is realised in the shortest possible time."
The deal is expected to be beneficial for Jamaica as it will see a $400m investment in plant modernisation, transportation infrastructure works, port facilities development and establishment of an ethane co-generation facility by 2016.
With port development works set to commence in February 2015, the repair of affected roadways and related activities for the readiness of the refinery will take place before the first quarter of 2016.
Once the refinery is reopened, the government plans to establish appropriate energy solutions.