British mineral exploration and development company Alufer Mining has reported that plans are underway to increase bauxite production to 10m tonnes per annum (tpa) at its Bel Air bauxite mine in Guinea.

The company has begun detailed engineering studies for the proposed expansion of production at the Bel Air bauxite mine from current totals of 5.5mtpa

According to Alufer Mining, its team is working to streamline and optimise all parts of the mine’s systems. The company also said it was satisfied with the transfer of bauxite, with efficient running of loading rates and barge cycle times.

Alufer Mining CEO Bernie Pryor said: “With the operational set up we have achieved to date, we are now looking to the next phase and analysing how we can create further value from the Bel Air project.”

In February this year, Alufer said that it has achieved commercial production at the Bel Air mine in Guinea in compliance with the country’s mining code.

The mine was commissioned in August 2018, and there has since been significant progress on ramping-up operations. The mine is now consistently achieving design tonnage.

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“We are now looking to the next phase and analysing how we can create further value from the Bel Air project.”

Alufer said that operations will focus on steady state production and the project is on target to produce 5.5 million wet tonnes per annum by the end of 2019.

While announcing the commercial production, Pryor said: “It is a significant achievement to have hit commercial production within the first six months of operation. To increase output from first ore on ship to today’s run rate shows how well our mining, haulage and transhipment processes are functioning.

“The Bel Air project has integrated logistics and all areas need to be streamlined and work efficiently from pit to ship.”