The west African nation of Guinea is set to become an even bigger player in the global bauxite ore trade as Societe Miniere de Boke has begun shipping the ore to the coast via its US$1 billion new railway.
The 84-mile railway will carry bauxite ore from SMB’s Santou II and Houda blocks to port facilities at Dapilon. Mining Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba said at an opening ceremony last week that SMB will own the railway for the next three decades before deeding it to the state in 2054.
SMB’s Sun Xiushun said the opening of the new railway would yield several major advantages.
“With the commissioning of the Santou-Dapilon railway, the consortium will establish a bauxite chain with more stable production capacity, more ecological operation and more sustainable development.”
The new bauxite railway includes two dozen locomotives and over 1,400 wagons. Magassouba noted that the railway could easily be joined onto by other bauxite mining organizations in the future.
The nation of Guinea shipped 82.4 million metric tons of bauxite ore last year. SMB contributed to 40 percent of that total. The firm is a joint venture between Winning Shipping Ltd., UMS International, Shandong Weiqiao, and the Guinean government. The railway project is part of a US$3 billion investment in accessing Guinea’s bauxite resources. It has also invested in an alumina refinery and various bauxite extraction licenses.