Earlier this year, the United States Treasury Department announced sanctions against RUSAL, one of the biggest bauxite companies in the world, effectively banning the company from conducting business in US dollars.
The sanctions were to take effect in June but the Treasury Department announced it is pushing back the deadline to October 23 to give US companies time to wind down business with RUSAL.
Those sanctions have affected not only US companies but companies that do business with RUSAL and at the same time want to continue dealing with the US.
In Guyana, RUSAL’s operations in Aroaima and Kurubuka were affected with the pullout of the Oldendorff Carriers, which has the long-standing contract to ship the bauxite from Guyana.
Oldendorff took a decision to start scaling back its operations, with 200 workers affected.
Yesterday, RUSAL workers said that they were not officially informed of any closures come October 1.
However, the state-controlled, Guyana Chronicle earlier this week reported that
RUSAL is “planning to scale down its operations here from October 1, as the Natural Resources Ministry prepares to submit a status report to Cabinet.”
The report disclosed that U.S. customers are mandated to wind down business with RUSAL by October 23, 2018, because of sanctions imposed in April 2018 in response to Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The newspaper said that on Tuesday, RUSAL’s local subsidiary, Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc. (BCGI) reportedly informed its managers at its Aroaima, Region 10 worksite that the company will be scaling down its operations from October 1, 2018.
“For the month of October 2018, there will be no mining of bauxite, nor will there be any shipping of bauxite,” the newspaper quoted a source close to the local management of the Russian-owned company.
Workers of RUSAL, more than 400 of them, are deeply worried as the company had been not engaging with the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU).
Yesterday, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott, when asked said that he is not aware of any closures.
“There is a Ministerial Task Force and I am not part of that. I have not been briefed,” Scott said.
However, even senior supervisors of RUSAL seemed to be out of the loop.
“I can tell you, we are nervous. We don’t see the operations easing up. But we are hearing lots of rumours,” one staffer from RUSAL, in Region 10 told Kaieteur News yesterday.
According to the staffer, they have been hearing very little from the Task Force and government.
RUSAL’s officials insisted that the company was not going anywhere, following news of the sanctions earlier this year.
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