Guinea container terminal to boost new mine project

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) on Wednesday moved a step closer to expanding operations in Guinea, with the inauguration of a container terminal which will enable the import of construction materials for a new mine.

The terminal, at the Port of Kamsar, will be operated by Abu Dhabi Ports and handle vessels three to four times larger than previously. This will reduce shipping costs per tonne, with the first bauxite samples making their way to China and India during this quarter. Bauxite rock is processed into alumina, which is then converted into aluminium.

The new facility will also help to import materials for the construction of the bauxite mine by EGA subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC). Once the US$1 billion mine is complete, which is expected to be in two years, it will produce 12 million tonnes of bauxite a year.

“The export of bauxite at first then an alumina production plant would strengthen Guinea’s position on the global market and enable local processing of bauxite and with it the development of the mining sector,” said Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, in a statement from EGA following the inauguration.

Third parties will have access to the terminal as an alternative to existing container facilities in the capital, Conakry. “The ­development of the Kamsar Port is also important because it ­provides new facilities for others to trade [in Guinea],” said Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s managing director and chief executive. He said it could be similar to the UAE’s ports, which have grown to become a major regional trading hub.

Guinea is one of the world’s largest bauxite producers, holding more than 25 per cent of total bauxite reserves globally, about 7 billion tonnes.

The mine development project will increase Guinea’s GDP by more than 10 per cent, according to the statement.

A railway extension is under construction to connect the mine with the Kamsar port and 4,000 jobs are expected to be created through the mining project. EGA is training hundreds of Guineans in the UAE over the next several years for future roles at GAC.

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