Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) SA, a major player in the mining sector in Guinea, has 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 12 million tons of bauxite per year.
GAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producers in the world. The GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments within Guinea in the past 40 years, and it will provide a new global source of bauxite supply.
Bauxite is the ore from which aluminum is derived. Guinea has more than seven billion tons 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 kilometers and contains one of the largest bauxite deposits in Guinea. The concession is located in the Boké region, 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 kilometers away, using existing railway lines that are already used by other bauxite 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 km conveyor, along a jetty and loaded onto barges. Kamsar is located on the river Nunez, some 17 kilometers 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.
As mentioned above, some 90 per cent of people working on the GAC project are from the Boké region, a reflection of GAC’s commitment to the region. As a responsible company, GAC is also investing to support communities near its operations in Guinea, opening community health centers, installing water wells, building schools, providing adult literacy and vocational training, and assisting with agricultural development.