Aluminium Corp of China (Chalco) is planning to invest $500m into a new bauxite production project in Guinea, according to Reuters.
Bauxite is the primary source used to make aluminium.
Secured after the Guinea mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba’s visit to China, the deal follows similar investments in the nation by other Chinese companies.
Guinea Mines Ministry Secretary General Saadou Nimaga was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The reserves of bauxite abandoned by BHP Billiton will eventually be exploited from 2018 by Chalco.”
The project lies in the Boffa area, which is located 200km from Conakry. It will be executed in three phases, with the total investment going towards the first phase.
Aluminium production will also be taken up during the project execution.
The development comes against the backdrop of increasing Chinese interest in African mining opportunities.
Last October, an agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s 46.6% stake in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea for up to $1.3bn was reached by Chinalco, the majority shareholder of Chalco.
China is a major importer of iron ore, which is used as a raw material in steelmaking.
The country’s iron ore imports increased by 7.5% to 1.024 billion tonnes last year, according to Xinhua News Agency.