A Guinean state-owned bauxite miner said last week that domestic alumina refineries are possible in the near future, but they will require a significant capital and innovative investment to realize.
Speaking to the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) CEO Souleymane Traoré said that the two necessary parties were already in agreement as to the need for local alumina refineries.
“There are no contradictions between the will of the mining companies to meet their obligations in terms of refineries […] and the political will to see this happen. It is legitimate.”
Traoré went on to say that CBG had plans to build an alumina refinery in Guinea, but he could not give specifics about those plans. He also warned that the undertaking would have its share of complex details to sort out before the plans became a reality.
“I am confident and convinced that Guinea will have refineries in the coming years.”
The ruling junta gave bauxite mining firms until this week to come up with plans for building bauxite refineries in the country. The Guinean government extended the deadline after none of the companies submitted plans by the previous deadline at the end of last month.
Guinea sits atop some of the largest known deposits of bauxite ore on Earth, and it supplies the People’s Republic of China with around half of its bauxite ore requirements. Guinea has long been an exporter of bauxite ore, but the government has long been desirous of capturing more of the value-added revenue from the resource instead of losing that income to overseas firms.
According to experts, one of the main hurdles to large-scale bauxite ore processing has long been a steady supply of consistent and affordable energy, as alumina refining and aluminium smelting tends to be a highly energy-intensive pursuit.