Kamsar, 21 January 2019 — Guinea Alumina Corporation S.A. (GAC), today announced that it has completed another important step in its “Project 150” programme. Thanks to this US$ 3 million training program, 150 Guinean apprentices graduated with a GAC professional diploma in the fields of mechanics, electrical engineering, mine maintenance and welding. This confirms GAC’s commitment toward skills development and towards making a positive socio-economic impact in the country. Diplomas were delivered in the presence of GAC CEO, Paulo Castellari, GAC Operations Director, Daniel Pop, and El Hadj Tidiane Sylla, Sous-Prefect of Kamsar, as well as other officials and dignitaries.
“Project 150 began in November 2017,” said GAC CEO Paulo Castellari, “and just 13 months later, I am extremely proud to participate in this graduation ceremony and to congratulate all the young people who have succeeded so far in this program. We initiate and support programs such as Project 150 that contribute towards building a dynamic region, stimulating local employment, and developing opportunities for Guineans. Thanks to this training program, GAC is able to support these 150 young people along a purposeful career path.”
Honoré Haba, a new graduate from Project 150, said: “Thanks to GAC, I have been able to reinforce my knowledge and acquire new skills, which will be useful to me in the future. I am now able to set up a maintenance plan, carry it out and make sure that the facilities work in accordance with recognised best practices as the company operates according to international standards and applies them to all its training. This training qualifies me to be employed by many companies in Guinea and abroad. I am aware of the opportunities provided to me by GAC in being selected for this program…and I am very grateful.”
Creating opportunities for Guineans is a top priority for GAC and this program will help promote the professional integration of young Guineans into the mining industry. Project 150, which has been designed to run for 18 months, consists of three parts: 1) core skills, 2) classroom specialisation, and 3) on-the-job training and mentoring. This program has better prepared the graduates for professional life and further specialised training in mining logistical operations. In addition, the apprentices now have increased access to employment from mining companies.
GAC contributes, beyond its core business, to improving the quality of life at both local and national levels. These contributions range from training and education, to health care and agricultural development.
GAC is currently developing a bauxite mine and related export facilities in the province of Boké. This project is the largest greenfield investment in the Republic of Guinea in the last four decades. First bauxite exports from the project are expected during the second half of 2019. Production is expected to reach 12 million tonnes per year once ramp-up has been fully achieved.
Over 3,000 people are currently working on the GAC project, of which over 80% are Guineans. To date, 23 million hours of work has been invested in the project, the equivalent of one person working for more than 8,700 years. Since 2016 more than 56% of the total number of supply contracts GAC has awarded have been won by Guinean companies. The total value of these contracts is over US $37 million.