Conakry, Guinea — 11 July 2012 – Guinea-focused bauxite miner Alufer Mining Limited – which aims to be a leading global bauxite producer in the next two years – plans to invest US$400 million to develop its Bel Air bauxite project in the Boffa region of the west African state.
In a document submitted to the country’s mines ministry here and seen by Reuters, Alufer said that it had mining exploration permits in the Boffa, Labe and Kindia regions of Guinea with a combined potential reserve of over 3 billion tonnes of the aluminium ore.
“A pre-feasibility study was completed in Bel Air in late 2011 and the company plans to build a mine with a capacity of 10Mtpa by 2014,” it added.
“To date, Alufer has invested US$22 million in the project, and the company intends to invest US$400 million to develop the mine,” the document continued.
Guinea – the world’s top bauxite exporter – is planning to review all mining contracts to ensure mining firms comply with its recently revised mining code. The country, which also has significant iron ore and gold reserves, relies on minerals for more than 70% of its exports.
Two officials of Guinea’s mines ministry said Alufer’s project had been submitted to the government, but it was unclear whether the exploitation phase of the project would begin in 2014 as planned by the company.
“Alufer has presented a pre-feasibility study which we appreciate, but we have found it incomplete. We are waiting for further information before deciding,” Saadou Nimaga, a counsel to the Guinean mines minister told Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Alufer said it was cooperating with Guinea’s government and reiterated a June 1 statement in which it said it was on track for first bauxite production in late 2013 or early 2014.
Guernsey-registered Alufer said in the statement that it had raised US$12 million via private placement with new investors after it had postponed a planned listing on the London alternative AIM board due to adverse market conditions.
Alufer is chaired by Adonis Pouroulis, the founder of LSE-listed Petra Diamonds.