Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) announced last week that it is planning to invest US$205 million in Alufer Mining’s bauxite mining project in Guinea.
Oliver Andrews, AFC’s chief finance officer, cited the global rise in in aluminium demand as the rationale for investing in the project. His firm also pointed out the Bel Air Mine’s adherence to environmentally-responsible best practices.
“We are encouraged to see that Alufer has been working with the local community to develop sustainable projects which assist in the provision of drinking water, as well as development of local infrastructure and job creation,” said Andrews.
“AFC is developing African economies that have suffered conflict and crisis,” he went on. “For example, we were instrumental in the re-construction of Cote d’Ivoire, following the country’s civil war through investments such as Henri Konan Bridge and, in Liberia, we financed the post-Ebola rebuilding of certain fuel import and storage facilities damaged by the country’s long running civil conflicts. Equally, investment in Guinea’s infrastructure will help to rebuild and diversify the economy following the Ebola crisis.”
Andrews continued by saying that the overall plan is to become among the nation’s largest foreign investments. The infusion of funds is expected to boost production from the mine beyond the currently forecast six percent per annum increase over the next five years, especially as demand from the People’s Republic of China continues to increase.
Shifts in supply and demand dynamics will create opportunities to ship Guinea’s high-grade bauxite to countries like China on more lucrative terms, Andrews opined. The resulting trade will boost Guinea’s GDP and will ideally improve the country’s 20 to 1 trade deficit with China.
Based in Nigeria, AFC is a pan-African multilateral development finance institution. Since its founding in 2007, the company has invested over US$4.5 billion in projects, including power, transportation, telecommunications, heavy industry, and natural resources initiatives, in over two dozen African countries.