GAC successfully tests rail infrastructure with first train from port to mine

Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC SA), which is developing a bauxite mining project in Boké region in the largest greenfield investment in the Republic of Guinea in the last four decades, has announced an important milestone as the first GAC train travelled from Kamsar to the company’s mine site near Sangaredi in a critical test of the company’s new rail infrastructure.

The empty 120-wagon train took two-and-a-half hours to complete the 89 kilometer journey, which was designed to test the locomotives, wagons and new track and involved drivers from both Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) and GAC.

First bauxite exports are expected from the GAC project during the second half of 2019.

Once the project is operational, bauxite will be transported by rail to the coast using existing railway lines that are already used by other companies. GAC has built rail spurs and loops to connect to the existing line at both Kamsar and at its mine site.

Steeve Tremblay, Project Director at GAC, said, "The first journey by a GAC train from Kamsar to our mining site was an important test of our new rail infrastructure. The safe and responsible completion of this test as planned, was a significant milestone for our project and a great achievement for our entire team.”

The wagons for GAC’s trains, which began arriving in Guinea in August, were built in China. GAC is using its own shunting-locomotives to move wagons at its mining site and at the port, these arrived from the United States in November.

Rail works at both Kamsar and at GAC’s mining site were completed in September.

GAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), one of the largest aluminum companies in the world.

Once full ramp-up is achieved, the GAC project is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year.

Almost 3,000 people are currently building the GAC project.