Project on-track for first bauxite exports during the second half of 2019
United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced that its project to develop a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, has reached 50 per cent construction completion.
More than 4,000 Guineans, 90 per cent from the Boké region, are currently working to construct the Guinea Alumina Corporation project. GAC has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $1.4 billion. First bauxite exports are expected during the second half of 2019.
Once full ramp-up is achieved, the project is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year and employ some 1,000 people directly and as contractors.
GAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EGA. The project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the past 40 years and will be a new global source of bauxite supply.
Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived. Guinea has more than seven billion tonnes of bauxite resources, over a quarter of the world's total. Much of Guinea's bauxite is amongst the highest quality worldwide.
GAC’s mining concession covers an area of 690 square kilometres and contains one of the largest bauxite deposits in Guinea. The concession is located in the Boké region of north-western Guinea, close to existing mines that are operated by other companies.
Bauxite is found close to the surface of low plateaus in the mining concession. Mining is planned to be a drill-and-blast operation within open pits, with plateaus developed and remediated sequentially during the life of the mining operation.
Extracted bauxite will be transported by rail to Kamsar port, some 70 kilometres away, using existing railway lines that are already used by other mining companies. GAC is building rail loops and spurs to connect its mine and loading facilities to the existing railway line.
At the port, bauxite will be transported by a 5.3 kilometre-long conveyor system along a jetty and loaded onto barges. Kamsar is located on the river Nunez some 17 kilometres from the open sea and is inaccessible for the world’s largest vessels. The ore will be transshipped to ocean-going vessels at a floating transfer point.
EGA is also building the UAE’s first alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. First alumina is expected during the first half of 2019. Alumina, which is refined from bauxite, is the feedstock for aluminium smelters. Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina needs once full ramp-up is achieved.
EGA has signed an agreement with Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée for the supply of bauxite for Al Taweelah alumina refinery.
GAC is also investing to support communities near its operations in Guinea, opening community health centres, installing water wells, building schools, providing adult literacy and vocational training, and assisting with agricultural development.