Kamsar, 30 July 2019 — Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) today announced its first export of bauxite ore, marking the completion of major construction and the start of commercial production for one of Guinea’s most important mining projects.
The GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the last 40 years, and cost some $1.4 billion to develop.
GAC’s Director General, Aissata Beavogui, said: “I am proud to announce that we did it as promised, on budget, on time, safely and responsibly. This is a great day for GAC and our employees, and a great day for Guinea. Our first export of bauxite marks the start of decades of production, and we can now set our eyes on becoming a reliable world-class bauxite producer that delivers value for our shareholder and our country.”
Abdulla Kalban, Chairman of GAC and Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of GAC’s shareholder Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “GAC 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 the 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.”
More than 41,000 safety trainings were delivered on-site during the construction of the GAC project. The rate of recordable safety incidents was less than one-third of global mining benchmarks and construction was completed with zero fatalities.
Construction of the project took more than 30 million hours of work, one-and-a-half times as many hours as it took to build the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building.
The peak construction workforce was 4,650, of whom 85 per cent were Guinean and 67 per cent were from the Boké region.
Around 1,000 permanent jobs have been created to operate the GAC project. GAC has invested more than $1.3 million on GAC Skills, a programme to develop high potential Guineans for permanent roles in the organisation.
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 economy.
GAC is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year once full ramp-up is achieved. This is equivalent to the weight of two Great Pyramids of Giza.
GAC’s operations include a mine, railway infrastructure (some shared with other operators), and port facilities. There were two main construction sites, some 90 kilometres apart.
GAC has invested some $14 million so far in social and environmental projects in neighbouring communities, with projects including building 12 schools, eight health centres and running health awareness campaigns that have reached more than 90,000 people.
More than half the funds for the development of GAC 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.