However, six companies have alumina refinery plans in Guinea, for a total planned capacity of 11 million tonnes per year. With a view to increasing capacity and establishing value-added industries, here are four alumina refinery projects in Guinea-Conakry to keep an eye on between now and 2025.
SMB and ALTEO
In 2018, the Guinean government signed a three-billion-dollar agreement with a consortium led by Guinean bauxite producer Société minière de Boké (SMB) and French alumina producer ALTEO to construct an alumina refinery and 135-km railway line in Boké. Notably, UMS Group acquired ALTEO in 2021 and held an existing 30% stake in SMB, securing control over a significant portion of the local bauxite mining industry. The company is aiming for high-quality mineral transformation, including the production of specialty alumina used in the manufacturing of smartphone screens and electric vehicle batteries, among other applications. The refinery, which is still under construction and estimated to represent an investment between $700 million and $900 million, will have the capacity to refine one million tonnes of bauxite into alumina per year.
GAC and Chalco
Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) and the Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco) inked a cooperation agreement last June to build an alumina refinery in Boké. The relationship, which began with a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2023, unites the experience of both firms in the alumina refining sector. GAC’s parent company, Emirates Global Aluminium, developed the UAE’s first alumina refinery and requisite local technical skills and competencies. GAC started production at Boké in 2019 and GAC’s bauxite exports worldwide reached 14 million tonnes last year.
Natural Oil Field Services (NOFSL), a Nigerian-based aluminum smelting company, secured a contract with the Guinean government in March 2023 to develop a refinery and manufacture alumina in Guinea-Conakry. The corporation has agreed to an exclusive alumina production arrangement, with the Santou bauxite mine as its location. NOFSL has stated that it intends to invest around three billion dollars in order to produce two million tonnes of alumina per year, with this capacity likely to expand to four million tonnes within five years.
In 2018, Guinea Evergreen Mining Intelligence Company (GEMIC), a subsidiary of the Chinese industrial giant TBEA, began construction of a bauxite mining complex that would include a refinery. While details of the project remain limited, it is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Exhibition, taking place from November 21-22 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, will feature a dedicated mining panel discussion, in which industry experts and leaders will share the latest updates on projects in the region.