GAC project reaches 75 per cent construction completion

Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC SA), which is developing a bauxite mining project in Boké province in the largest greenfield investment in the Republic of Guinea in the last four decades, today announced that the project has completed 75 per cent of its construction phase.

GAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), one of the largest aluminum companies in the world. First bauxite exports from GAC’s project are expected during the second half of 2019.

More than 3,000 people, more than 80 per cent Guineans, are currently building the GAC project. Construction has taken some 23 million hours of work so far, the equivalent of one person working for more than 8,700 years.

The project has recorded almost 9 million-man hours of work without a Lost Time Injury. The total recordable injury frequency rate at GAC for the year to date is 0.8 per million hours worked, less than a quarter the International Aluminium Institute’s global benchmark for bauxite mining for last year.

Paulo Castellari, GAC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are now entering the final phase of construction of our project and we are focused on achieving our goal of ‘First Ore On Ship’ safely, responsibly, on time and on budget. Whilst construction continues, we are also working hard on our preparations to operate our mine and export facilities efficiently for the benefit of Guinea and EGA for decades ahead.”

Guinea is the world’s largest bauxite resource holder, and GAC’s project will contribute significantly to the country’s exports of the ore from which aluminium is derived. Once full ramp-up is achieved, the project is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year.

The total budgeted cost of the project is approximately $1.4 billion.

GAC's concession is located in the Boké region of north-western Guinea, close to existing mines that are operated by other companies.

Bauxite will be transported by rail to the coast, using existing railway lines that are already used by other companies.

GAC is also building port facilities including an unloading yard and an export pier at Kamsar, a well-established bauxite port on the coast.

During the operational phase, the project is expected to directly employ some 400 people, in addition to about 400 subcontractors. GAC also invests in supporting communities near its operations, addressing issues such as health, education and training.

Recent milestones on GAC’s project include the arrival in Guinea of major pieces of equipment. The car dumper, which enables the safe and efficient unloading of bauxite-laden rail wagons, arrived in June. This was followed in October by the arrival of the stacker reclaimer, which at 1,300 tonnes is the single largest piece of equipment on the project. In November, GAC received two shunting-locomotives which will be used to move rail wagons at the mine and the port.

GAC also recently completed a 750,000 m3 water reservoir on the Tiouladiwol River in the district of Boulere, which will enable dust suppression along mine haul roads and firefighting and finished work on rail loops at its mining site and at the port.

To further contribute to the development of the Boké region, GAC regularly makes significant contributions beyond its core business to support local communities in terms of health, education and infrastructure development. Since 2014, GAC has spent over $11million on local community development projects including the building of eight health centres, the company has provided safe drining water through the construction of 52 wells and has built eleven schools that benefit more than 5,500 children. In addition, and wehenever possible, GAC sources goods and services locally which benefits people living in the immediate vicinity of our operations. Furthermore, since 2016 more than 56% of the total number of supply contracts that GAC has placed have been with Guinean companies. The total value of such contracts is over $37 million.