Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, recently announced the first exports of bauxite ore from Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), its mining project in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.
The first exports of bauxite ore from GAC mark the completion of EGA’s strategic expansion upstream in the aluminium value chain to create an integrated global aluminium giant. The GAC project, and Al Taweelah alumina refinery where EGA began production in April, create new revenue streams for EGA and secure at competitive prices the raw materials that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs.
Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived. Bauxite is refined into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters. EGA previously relied on imports to meet all its alumina needs.
EGA's GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the last 40 years, and cost some $1.4 billion to develop. More than half the funds were provided by the largest greenfield mining project financing ever in Guinea - a $750 million loan from development finance institutions, export credit agencies and international commercial banks.
GAC is expected to make a direct, indirect and induced economic impact of some $700 million each year in Guinea once production is fully ramped-up, a 5.5 per cent boost to the national GDP.
EGA invested some $3.3 billion to develop Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which is the first in the UAE and only the second in the Middle East.
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Our first export of bauxite ore is a landmark moment for EGA and for Guinea. For EGA, it completes our strategic expansion upstream, making us an integrated global aluminium producer. For Guinea, the project creates economic opportunity and helps the country to expand its production of its biggest natural resource.
Mr Kalban continued: “On the GAC project, as in all EGA operations, safety is the first priority. I am particularly proud our safety performance on this project was world-class and I thank everyone at GAC and our contractors for this important achievement.”
GAC’s operations include a mine, railway infrastructure (some shared with other operators), and port facilities.