A major consortium and player in the bauxite sector will conduct a feasibility study in 2018 to build an alumina refinery in Guinea.

The study will also look at building a railway to open up the Boffa corridor to carry bauxite to the refinery and the Dapilon river port.

The SMB-Winning consortium presented the project to His Excellency Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea. The total investment planned for the whole project is estimated at US$3 billion.

Founded in 2014, the SMB-Winning consortium brings together three global partners in the fields of bauxite mining, production and transportation:

  • Singapore’s Winning Shipping Ltd, a major Asian shipping company;
  • UMS, a transport and logistics company present in Guinea for more than 20 years; and
  • Shandong Weiqiao, a Chinese aluminum company with 160 000 employees and annual sales of US$45 billion. The State of Guinea is a partner and a member of the consortium.

The feasibility and social and environmental impact studies will be carried out as soon as early 2018 for a start of works planned in 2019.

The construction phase will create 10 000 jobs and mobilise local companies, among which experts in civil engineering, extraction, construction and services. The refinery will be located in Dapilon, in the Boké Special Economic Zone.

“This investment illustrates our ambitions for the Boké region and our contribution to Guinea’s economic and social development. The mining sector, together with agriculture, is the lung of the country’s development and, in our approach as a mining operator, must also focus on facilitating a local redistribution of the benefits, especially in favor of the communities, education, jobs, and priority sectors such as the agro-industry,” comments Frédéric Bouzigues, MD of Société Minière de Boké (SMB).

“The local processing of raw materials is one of the biggest challenges for a more inclusive growth in Africa because it creates more value locally while leading to economic diversification. This commitment to Guinea also demonstrates our confidence in the continued improvement of both its business environment and macroeconomic stability. This project also demonstrates the technical and financial complementarity of our Franco-Sino-Singaporean consortium to carry out this type of ambitious projects,” adds Fadi Wazni, Chairman of SMB.