National Geographic : 1967 Dec
Kaiser companies turning out 9,000,000 long tons a year-23 percent of the world's total. In Jamaica, at present, only Alcan processes the bauxite to alumina, the compound from which aluminum is finally extracted; even so, its output makes the nation the world's big gest alumina exporter. Bauxite is Jamaica's greatest export-revenue earner, bringing in 40 percent of the total. Pat and I inspected the open-pit mining at Alcan. Then we moved on to Port Kaiser on the south shore to see bauxite shipped, shortly before this operation moved to Port Rhoades, Kaiser's new facility on the North Coast. Long lines of open freight cars brought bauxite from the Kaiser fields, 14 miles away. A huge cradle, the "car dumper," clamped one car at a time in its jaws, turned it upside down, and dumped the bauxite onto a convey 870 or belt for drying prior to loading into ships. Pat told me, "I bought this land for Kaiser. Used to be Little Pedro, and its 45 acres were owned by 115 small fishermen. They would take only cash, and I used to come in here by canoe quite often with large packets of bills on me. I was afraid of being robbed, so I tied the cash to my trained monkey and tied him to my tent. The people had never seen a mon key and were terrified of him. They wouldn't even go near the tent." Mining Stimulates Agriculture Pat pointed out that the aluminum compa nies own 5 percent of Jamaica's arable land. By law, it must be used for agriculture before and after mining. So the aluminum companies either lease, or themselves use the land for cattle raising, farming, and reforestation.