Top Four Alumina Refinery Projects to Monitor in Guinea Through 2025

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

Six firms have announced plans for alumina refineries in Guinea, aiming for a combined annual capacity of 11 million tonnes. As Guinea seeks to expand its alumina production and create value-added industries, four projects are especially noteworthy to watch until 2025.

SMB-ALTEO Consortium

In 2018, the government of Guinea inked a $3 billion deal with a consortium led by Guinean bauxite producer Société Minière de Boké (SMB) and French alumina manufacturer ALTEO. UMS Group acquired ALTEO in 2021 and already held a 30% stake in SMB, consolidating control over a sizable chunk of Guinea’s bauxite sector. The consortium aims to produce high-grade specialty alumina used in smartphone screens and electric vehicle batteries. The refinery, still under construction, is expected to cost between $700 million and $900 million and will have an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes.

GAC-Chalco Partnership

Last June, Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) and China’s Aluminium Corporation (Chalco) signed an agreement to establish a refinery in Boké. Initiated by a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2023, the partnership leverages both companies’ expertise in the alumina sector. GAC, a subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium, which launched the UAE’s inaugural alumina refinery, commenced production in Boké in 2019. Last year, GAC exported 14 million tonnes of bauxite globally.

NOFSL Initiative

Natural Oil Field Services (NOFSL), a Nigeria-based aluminum smelting firm, secured a contract in March 2023 to build a refinery in Guinea. NOFSL has entered into an exclusive production agreement centered on the Santou bauxite mine. The company plans to invest around $3 billion to achieve an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes, with an option to double that within five years.

GEMIC Development

Guinea Evergreen Mining Intelligence Company (GEMIC), a subsidiary of Chinese industrial behemoth TBEA, began construction on a bauxite mining and refining complex in 2018. Although specifics are sparse, the project is slated for completion in Q4 2023.

Industry experts and leaders will further discuss these and other projects at the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Exhibition, scheduled for Nov. 21-22 in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

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