Russian aluminium producer Rusal has started exporting ore from the Dian-Dian bauxite deposit in Guinea, despite the presence of US sanctions on the company due to Russian involvement in Crimea, Syria and Ukraine.

The company also completed the first stage of development of the Dian-Dian deposit, which involved the commissioning of a mine with an annual capacity of three million tonnes of bauxite.

The company, which owns the development rights for Dian-Dian, also constructed associated infrastructure, including roads and a railway line, to facilitate the transportation and storage of ore.

“The commissioning of the bauxite mine means the creation of new jobs and increased employment for the local population.”

Rusal Alumina Division director Yakov Itskov said: “The mutually beneficial nature of our cooperation with the Government of Guinea, within the framework of the Dian-Dian project, continues to contribute to improving the investment climate in this West African country.

“The commissioning of the bauxite mine means not only the creation of new jobs and increased employment for the local population, but also new opportunities for the development of the economy of Guinea.”

The Dian-Dian deposit is estimated to have proven reserves of 564 million tonnes.

In 2015, the company entered a deal for the use of the existing railway infrastructure in the province of Boké, where the Dian-Dian mine is located.

Rusal’s other assets in the country include the Compagnie des Bauxites de Kindia (CBK) and the Friguia alumina refinery complex.

In April this year, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) designated Russian business tycoon Oleg Deripaska and firms directly or indirectly owned or controlled by him as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), leading to sanctions being placed against them. Rusal is counted as one of the SDNs.