A new profit-sharing agreement signed between the Jamaican Government and the United States firm that holds a stake in Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners has been described by the parliamentary Opposition as a “bad deal”.
Under the agreement signed less than two weeks ago with New Day/Dada Holdings, Jamaica stands to rake in 17.33 per cent in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or US$1.50 per tonne of dried bauxite shipped, whichever is greater.
Mining Minister Robert Montague, who announced details of the arrangement in Parliament yesterday, said at the time of the signing, New Day/Dada Holdings paid the government US$7 million or approximately J$959 million.
“This represents a significant part of the US$17 million or approximately J$2.2 billion (in legacy payment and royalties) owed, the rest of which is to be paid over a 36-month period,” Montague said.
But Phillip Paulwell, the Opposition spokesman on mining, argued that the agreement, in its current form, meant that the government was leaving more than J$2 billion on the table.
Paulwell indicated, too, that he will be writing to the chairman of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee “because I think this matter requires some probing” of the mining ministry.