Windalco Shuts Down Operations In Jamaica

Russian-owned aluminum company that had been scaling back operations in Jamaica amid a faltering economy has laid off 762 workers and ceased all bauxite projects.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- A Russian-owned aluminum company that had been scaling back operations in Jamaica amid a faltering economy has laid off 762 workers and ceased all bauxite projects.

Spokeswoman Kayon Wallace said Thursday that West Indies Alumina Jamaica Ltd. will retain 257 contract workers only to continue agricultural and land restoration projects.

Windalco previously cut 250 jobs and closed refineries in St. Catherine and Manchester parishes last year as demand for bauxite dwindled.

Parent company UC Rusal is the world's biggest aluminum producer. It also owns Alumina Partners of Jamaica, which terminated hundreds of workers last year.

Jamaica is one of the world's largest producers of bauxite, the main ore used in aluminum.

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