Guinea seals an alumina refinery deal with EGA’s subsidiary

AL Circle

According to a report on Friday, June 7, Guinea will house its second major alumina refinery, which will be constructed by a subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA). The news came after two senior officials of Guinea's mines ministry told Reuters that a non-binding agreement was signed between Guinea and EGA's subsidiary company.

Guinea seals an alumina refinery deal with EGA’s subsidiary

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The agreement, known as a Term Sheet, states that EGA's subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) will build the 2 million tonnes capacity refinery in west Guinea by September 2026, initially producing 1.2 million tonnes annually.

The signing was presided over by Djiba Diakité, Minister and Chief of Staff at the Office of the Presidency of the Republic, and Chairman of the Strategic Monitoring Committee for the Simandou project, at the Petit Palais of the Presidency in Conakry, and attended by Government officials including Bouna Sylla, Minister of Mines and Geology, and the members of the Strategic Committee.

GAC’s delegation was led by EGA’s Chief Executive Officer Abdulnasser Bin Kalban and included Zaher Al Habtari, EGA’s Executive Vice President of Bauxite, Alumina & Capital Projects, Saif Al Qubaisi, EGA and GAC Board member, GAC CEO Steeve Tremblay, GAC’s Director General Youssuff Sylla, and GAC’s Deputy Director General René Désiré Morel.

Guinea, Africa's biggest alumina producer, had been persuading many companies to build local facilities to refine bauxite into alumina, aiming to channel its mineral wealth into economic development.

One of the ministry officials reported to Reuters that this project would involve an investment of around $4 billion. Another official said that GAC would partner with Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) on the same project.

About a week ago, EGA confirmed that it signed a framework agreement with Chinalco to progress their cooperation on developing an alumina project in the Republic of Guinea.

"The companies now intend to further jointly progress the project's feasibility and joint investment," according to a statement on EGA's website.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “Driving sustainable economic growth in the countries where we operate is a priority for EGA. We are now looking forward to advancing the alumina refinery project, which will further grow our contribution to the local economy and build local capability in the aluminium value chain.”

Youssuff Sylla, Guinea Alumina Corporation’s Director General, said: “The development of an alumina refining industry is a national priority to further increase the economic benefit of Guinea’s rich natural endowment of bauxite resources. We are working closely with the Government to develop a project that is technically and commercially robust, and that can create value for Guinea and its people, and our company, for decades to come. The signing of the term sheet is an important step as it provides a framework for our negotiations for the way forward for this important project, and we now look forward to the next stage of our discussions with the Government.”

EGA began operating in Guinea in 2019, and in the next few years, by 2022 exported around 14 million tonnes.

Guinea till now has only one alumina refinery, the Friguia refinery, owned by Russian aluminium giant Rusal.

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