Abu Dhabi: Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) on Monday announced the first exports of bauxite ore from Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), its mining project in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.
The first exports of bauxite ore from GAC mark the completion of EGA’s strategic expansion upstream in the aluminium value chain to create an integrated global aluminium giant. The GAC project, and Al Taweelah alumina refinery where EGA began production in April, create new revenue streams for EGA and secure at competitive prices the raw materials that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs.
Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived. Bauxite is refined into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters. EGA previously relied on imports to meet all its alumina needs.
EGA’s GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the last 40 years, and cost some $1.4 billion (Dh5.1 billion) to develop. More than half the funds were provided by the largest greenfield mining project financing ever in Guinea — a $750 million loan from development finance institutions, export credit agencies and international commercial banks.
GAC is expected to make a direct, indirect and induced economic impact of some $700 million each year in Guinea once production is fully ramped-up, a 5.5 per cent boost to the national GDP.
“Our first export of bauxite ore is a landmark moment for EGA and for Guinea. For EGA, it completes our strategic expansion upstream, making us an integrated global aluminium producer,” said Abdulla Kalban, managing director and chief executive officer of EGA.
“For Guinea, the project creates economic opportunity and helps the country to expand its production of its biggest natural resource,” he added.
Bauxite ore is transported from GAC’s jetty at the port of Kamsar by self-propelled barge to a transshipment point operated by EGA in deeper water. This enables EGA to export bauxite ore from GAC using bulk cargo vessels that are amongst the world’s largest, including Capesize and Newcastlemax ships.
Around 1,000 permanent jobs have been created to operate the GAC project. GAC has invested more than $1.3 million on GAC Skills, a programme to develop high potential Guineans for permanent roles in the organisation.
GAC is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite ore per year at full design capacity. Bauxite ore from GAC is sold by EGA to customers around the world. EGA is importing bauxite ore for processing at Al Taweelah alumina refinery from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée under a long-term agreement, also using transshipment and Capesize vessels.