A coup that ousted Guinean president Alpha Conde has resulted in a spike in bauxite prices to an 18-month high, as buyers in China and elsewhere are concerned about the stability of bauxite supplies in post-coup Guinea.
President Alpha Conde was ousted from his position as Guinea’s chief executive on Sunday by the Guinean military. Initially the military leadership imposed a curfew on bauxite mining operations, but leader Mamady Doumbouya said on Monday that the curfew has been lifted.
Experts say the coup has not had an appreciable impact upon bauxite mining operations in the country. Guinea is the second-biggest supplier of bauxite on Earth, with vast stores of the aluminium precursor still untapped.
“It is highly unlikely that the coup will have any major short-term impact on exports, which are always at the lowest part of the cycle in September with stockpiles depleted as the rainy season comes to an end,” noted Bob Adam, an industry analyst specializing on Guinea, to Reuters this week.
“Any incoming government will want to make sure that it doesn’t jeopardise future earnings and investment.”
Guinean bauxite producer Société Minière de Boké (SMB) declined to comment on the situation, while Aluminium Corp of China (Chalco) said operations are continuing as usual. TOP International Holding said its two bauxite mines in Guinea said its operations at Boke and Boffa are underway “with minimal disruption.”
Meanwhile, Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) indicated that its bauxite mining operations have not been affected by the coup. Similarly, Alcoa told Reuters that it has experienced no interruptions, but it continues to monitor the situation. Rusal did not respond to queries about its subsidiary Compagnie des Bauxites de Kindia (CBK), which operates bauxite mining activities in Guinea.