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AMN - GUINEA: $3 billion alumina investment outlined

Construction of an alumina refinery forms part of a US$3 billion total investment project outlined by the SMB-Winning consortium for the Republic of Guinea. The project includes a railway to open up the Boffa corridor and to carry bauxite to the refinery and Dapilon river port.

The refinery will be in Dapilon in the Boké Special Economic Zone.

The feasibility and social and environmental impact studies will be carried out in 2018 with the consortium planning to start construction work in 2019.

The construction phase will create 10,000 jobs and mobilise local companies, among which will be experts in civil engineering, extraction, construction and services.

“This investment illustrates our ambitions for the Boké region and our contribution to Guinea’s economic and social development, said Société Minière de Boké (SMB) managing director Frédéric Bouzigues.

"The mining sector, together with agriculture, is the lung of the country’s development and, in our approach as a mining operator, must also focus on facilitating a local redistribution of the benefits, especially in favour of the communities, education, jobs and priority sectors such as the agro-industry.

“The local processing of raw materials is one of the biggest challenges for a more inclusive growth in Africa because it creates more value locally while leading to economic diversification.

"This commitment to Guinea also demonstrates our confidence in the continued improvement of both its business environment and macroeconomic stability. This project also demonstrates the technical and financial complementarity of our Franco-Sino-Singaporean consortium to carry out this type of ambitious projects.”

Founded in 2014, the SMB-Winning consortium brings together three partners in the fields of bauxite mining, production and transportation - Singaporean shipping company Winning Shipping Ltd, UMS, a French-owned transport and logistics company that has been present in Guinea for over 20 years, and Shandong Weiqiao, a leading Chinese company in aluminium production.

The consortium plans to export 30 million tonnes of bauxite in 2017, making Guinea the world’s largest exporter of bauxite and the consortium one of the major contributors to the country’s gross domestic product.