Emirates Global Aluminium has announced that the first bauxite bulk sample shipment from its mine under development in the Republic of Guinea has left from the port of Kamsar, bound for bauxite customers in China.
The shipment of 55,000 tonnes is an important milestone in EGA’s programme to unlock Chinese and other markets for Guinean bauxite.
EGA is the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside the oil industry. Guinea Alumina Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EGA, is currently building a major
bauxite mine in Guinea in the largest greenfield investment in that country for four decades.
With construction now fully underway, commercial production of bauxite is set to begin in 2018 and ramp up to 12 million tonnes of bauxite per annum.
As part of the project, EGA is developing additional port capacity at Port Kamsar to allow shipping of bauxite in Capesize and Newcastlemax vessels, which are substantially larger than current shipping options from the Guinean port. The use of larger vessels will make shipping to distant markets less expensive and Guinean bauxite more competitive.
Guinea has around 7 billion tonnes of bauxite resources, over a quarter of the global total. Guinean bauxite is amongst the highest quality worldwide. EGA’s concession in Guinea contains more than
1 billion tonnes of high quality bauxite.
China is the world’s largest bauxite importer. Global demand for high-quality bauxite, particularly in China, is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.
Abdulla Kalban (MD & CEO EGA), said: “This shipment, and those that will follow, are important because they will demonstrate the high-quality of EGA’s Guinean bauxite to customers in key markets such as China. The GAC project, currently under construction, will support a long-term leadership position for Guinea in the global bauxite market and contribute substantially to Guinea’s GDP, exports and create economic opportunities for more than 4,000 Guineans.”
More than 200 Guineans are being seconded over the next several years to EGA’s operations in the UAE to prepare them for roles at GAC. EGA is also investing in projects to support communities near its operations in Guinea, opening community health centres, installing water wells, building schools, providing adult literacy and vocational training and protecting local fauna and flora.