UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) announced this week that it has shipped the first bauxite bulk sample shipment mined from its operations in the African nation of Guinea. The sample was shipped from Kamsar to customers in the People’s Republic of China.
The first shipment consists of 55,000 metric tons of ore, and it represents a significant milestone in the firm’s quest to open the Chinese market to Guinean ore, according to EGA’s statement on the subject.
EGA’s wholly-owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) is building a new bauxite mine in the country, which is a project that represents the country’s largest greenfield investment in over forty years. The firm says it expects production to begin in 2018 and eventually reach a maximum production of 12 million metric tons per annum.
In order to handle such a significant outflow of material, EGA is constructing additional port capacity at Kamsar. The modifications will allow vessels of Capesize (too large for passage through the Panama or Suez canals and must therefore pass by the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn to move between oceans) and Newcastlemax (50m beam and 300m length, with an approximate capacity of 185,000 metric tons of deadweight – the largest size vessel to be able to dock at Newcastle, Australia) to dock and take on ore. This modification, according to EGA, will make shipping cheaper and therefore make Guinean bauxite more competitive on the global market.
EGA says that Guinea has around seven billion metric tons of bauxite resources, or over one quarter of the world’s total bauxite resources. The firm’s mining rights include approximately one billion metric tons of that total.
“This shipment, and those that will follow, are important because they will demonstrate the high-quality of EGA’s Guinean bauxite to customers in key markets such as China,” explained Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s managing director and CEO. “The GAC project, currently under construction, will support a long-term leadership position for Guinea in the global bauxite market and contribute substantially to Guinea’s gross domestic product (GDP), exports and create economic opportunities for more than 4,000 Guineans.”