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Alumina Jamaica

Accession number: 
Alternate Titles: 
Jamaïque : Île du nouveau monde
French version
Production Years: 


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
695 (16mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 16mm, VHS, digibeta.
"Outlines the production of alumina from the raw material bauxite in Jamaica by the Alumina Jamaica company. The film begins with a brief history of Jamaica and mentions its three major resources; sugar, rum and bananas. In 1942 the Jamaican government invited Canadian Company Aluminum Limited to carry out a geological survey. The company discovered great deposits of bauxite and built a specially designed plant near Mandeville to provide alumina for aluminum smelters in northern countries such as Canada, Norway and Sweden. Great quantities of power are required to turn alumina into aluminum and the Northern 'swift water' countries have the hydroelectric plants necessary to provide such power. The factory, Kirkvine Works, was the only company in the Caribbean to process bauxite on the spot. By the end of 1954 production reached nearly 200,000 tons of alumina annually. A harbour was created at Port Esquivel to accommodate exporting. In February of 1955 Princess Margaret visited the factory meeting with some of the workers. The chemical processes bauxite endures before the alumina is extracted is shown along with the transfer of alumina from plant to ship. Once the aluminum is in liquid form it is poured into ingots and then shipped around the world, as the film says 'Wherever there is progress in design and manufacture, there is the need for aluminium'. Alumina Jamaica's financial input into the community is outlined. The company acquired 170 acres of citrus groves employing 500 and promoted the rare ortanique, a cross between an orange and a tangerine. The company also administers thousands of acres of pastureland for cattle."


"Films for Business," Canadian Business 29 (February 1956): 80.
"Jamaica is the location for this presentation of an historical documentary on development of the bauxite mining industry. The film covers all important phases of mining and refining this raw material to obtains alumina. To conclude, the film shows how growth of this industry has benefited the people, providing employment for the population of Jamaica."

Alcan 16mm Film Catalogue (Montreal: Aluminum Co. of Canada: c.1960), 1-2.
“The island of Jamaica with its glorious beaches and sunny climate, has become one of the leading tourist centres of the Caribbean. The recent discovery of bauxite on the island has led to the growth of a flourishing bauxite mining industry. Alumina Jamaica Limited, not only mines bauxite but produces alumina at its Kirkvine works situated near the town of Mandeville. The carefully controlled chemical processes involved in the production of alumina are shown and the impact of the young industry on the Jamaican people is illustrated.”