August 18, 2022

Govt draws down on Windalco bond after Rio Cobre pollution

article reposted by Chelsea


Government has drawn down on the full amount of UC Rusal Windalco’s US$771,558.69 (more than J$117 million) environment performance bond following last month’s spillage of caustic effluent from the bauxite and alumina company into the Rio Cobre.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda made the revelation in an interview with Nationwide News Network on Wednesday evening.

He said the drawdown was made over the last 72 hours.

Samuda noted that the cost to clean up the Rio Cobre will be significantly more than the value of the bond, which he said Windalco will have to replenish within the next couple of days.

The minister also said that many of the farmers whose livelihoods have been affected by the spillage are not registered with the National Fisheries Authority, so compensation will have to be made via the Ministry of Labour.

The National Environment and Planning Agency has already initiated prosecution of UC Rusal Windalco in relation to the spillage.

The company had been prosecuted for two earlier pollution incidents resulting in breaches of its environmental permits and environmental licences, and is presently before the St Catherine Parish Court.

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