Guinea’s parliament has approved amendments in a deal with Emirates Global Aluminium, which will see the start of bauxite production in 2017 and the construction of a 2 million tonne per year alumina refinery from 2018. “The National Assembly unanimously adopted the amendment of Global Alumina project,” Saadou Nimaga, legal counsel of Guinea’s mines ministry said. The adoption of the amendments clears the path for the project after the West African nation and Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala signed a US$ 5bn agreement in November to develop a bauxite mine and an alumina refinery in minerals-rich Guinea.
The project was previously owned by a consortium that included Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), Mubadala, BHP Billiton and Global Alumina and had planned to build a 2.8 million tonnes refinery. The project was delayed after failing to raise funds following the financial crisis. Mubadala and Dubal acquired the stakes of BHP and Global Alumina to form Emirates Global Aluminium.
It is set to become the world’s fifth largest aluminium company by output this year and the Guinea project will enable it secure raw material for United Arab Emirates’ aluminium plants. Guinea is the world’s top supplier of bauxite, the raw material used in aluminium production. Alumina is partially refined bauxite. Under the agreement bauxite will be ready for export by 2017 and the refinery will be operational by 2022.