A consortium of four companies has reportedly signed a $3bn deal with the government of Guinea to build an alumina refinery and a 135km railway line.
The participants in the consortium include Guinean bauxite miner Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB), Singapore’s Winning Shipping, transport and logistics company UMS, and Chinese aluminum company Shandong Weiqiao.
The consortium partners will build a one million tonne per year refinery to process bauxite into alumina, which is used to make aluminium, Reuters reported.
The proposed refinery is expected to be built at a cost of around $700m-900m, vanguardngr.com reported.
Guinea has abundant bauxite reserves, with around 33% of the world’s bauxite reserves located in the country. Last year, bauxite production in the country more than doubled to around 50 million tonnes with support from investments made by Alcoa, Rio Tinto Alcan and private investment group Dadco.
Construction of the project is anticipated to commence next year, with completion slated for 2022.
Reuters added that the consortium also signed an agreement for access to new mining areas.
The railway line, which will cost around $1.2bn, is expected to connect SMB’s bauxite mines in Boke to reserves in the northwestern region of Boffa.
In the first year of operations, production is expected to be about ten million tonnes. Thereafter, the consortium will ramp up output to 20 million tonnes in 2023 and 30 million tonnes in 2024.