Century Aluminum Co. (Monterey, Calif.; http://www.centuryca.com) entered into a joint venture agreement with Minmetals Aluminum Company to explore the potential of developing of bauxite mine and associated 1.5-million-ton aluminum refining facility in Jamaica. The first stage of the project, a pre-feasibility stage, will assess the quality and quantity of bauxite reserves. This stage is expected to take approximately 18 months. If this stage is successful, a full feasibility study will follow. Both companies estimate that the mine and alumina refinery could be operational within three years following the completion of the feasibility study.