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EGA to start Guinea bauxite mine construction.

Summary: 2mtpa refinery to reduce dependency on alumina imports by over 40%

Emirates Global Aluminium, or EGA, will begin construction on a major bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea to secure supply of the high-quality raw material for its primary aluminium production facilities in the UAE.

The two million tonnes per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery will reduce EGA's dependency on alumina imports by more than 40 per cent. EGA announced it has received final approval from its board of directors to launch the first phase of the mine, to be managed through its subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corporation.

The project will develop an initial 12 mtpa bauxite mine in Guinea, where the company holds a concession on more than one billion tonnes of bauxite.

The project will also include the construction of a dedicated export terminal at Port Kamsar and upgrades to existing rail infrastructure for in-land logistics. Guinea holds the world's largest and highest-quality reserves of bauxite, the raw material used in the production of aluminium.

The mine is scheduled to begin production in 2018, with plans to export bauxite via Port Kamsar to the Middle East and Pacific markets. The development of this bauxite mine builds on EGA's strategy to integrate its current smelting operations with world-class upstream assets, thus reducing its dependency on third-party suppliers for critical raw materials.

EGA is also currently constructing the UAE's first alumina refinery on a site adjacent to its Al Taweelah operations' aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.

Abdulla Kalban, managing director and chief executive officer of EGA, said: "This investment builds on our plan to secure EGA's supply chain and capitalise on growth in the third-party bauxite market."

Despite the prevailing challenges facing the aluminium industry, he said, "we remain confident in the long-term outlook for the sector, and believe it is the right time for us to invest in high-quality, cost-competitive assets". He added: "We have built a strong presence in-country with the support of the government and people of Guinea, and we will continue our work to support local communities there - including training of more than 200 Guineans in the UAE for deployment to key roles in our business."

The mine development project is estimated to create approximately 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Bok region, increase Guinea's GDP by more than 10 per cent annually and solidify Guinea's position as the world's largest exporter of bauxite, thus providing a significant uplift to the country's foreign earnings.

Global demand for high-quality bauxite, particularly in China, is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.

EGA has plans for further investments in Guinea upon the successful completion of the bauxite export mine, including the development of an alumina refinery.

- haseeb@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:6GUIN
Date:Jul 8, 2016
Words:472
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