Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd (Chalco) said late last month that it has begun preparing the first shipment from its bauxite operations in Guinea to China via ocean-going vessel.
In a statement given to domestic media, Chalco said the initial shipment would soon arrive at the Fangchenggang port in Guangxi, but the firm did not give a specific date for arrival.
The project in Guinea represents Chalco’s initial foray into large-scale overseas projects. The product of cooperation between the two governments, began construction two years ago and is slated for completion two months ahead of schedule.
According to analysts, the project is a major component for ensuring that the firm has a steady supply of high-quality bauxite ore. Bloomberg senior analyst for metals and mining Zhu Yi said the project would bump up Chalco’s bauxite supply by a significant degree over the next several years.
“China’s mining companies have been going overseas to secure a stable supply of raw materials. Chalco, the largest State-owned aluminum producer, has entered into an agreement to develop the Boffa bauxite in Guinea, in order to increase its self-sufficiency in bauxite to 75 percent by the end of 2021.”
Zhu went on to say that the mine’s production could increase by up to 80 percent upon full ramp-up. The mines have a 60-year lifespan, with full-capacity production estimated to be around 12 million metric tons per annum. Altogether the cache is expected to contain 1.75 billion metric tons of high-quality bauxite ore.
Chalco has been working towards self-sufficiency for quite some time, noted Zhu, as it has made efforts at increasing captive sources of bauxite and alumina as well as boosting the amount of captive power production in use at its various locations.
The firm is positioning itself to take advantage of an infrastructure construction boom that is expected to arise from the government’s latest central planning dictates.