Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has announced it will begin construction on a major bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea, to secure supply of the high-quality raw material for its production facilities in the UAE.
The aluminium giant said in a statement that it will create a new, substantial revenue stream through significant exports to Asia.
EGA said it has received final approval from its board of directors to launch the first phase of the mine, to be managed through its subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC).
The project will develop an initial 12 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea, where the company holds a concession on more than 1 billion tonnes of bauxite.
The mine development project is estimated to create about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Boké region, increase Guinea's GDP by more than 10 percent annually.
The project will also include the construction of a dedicated export terminal at Port Kamsar and upgrades to existing rail infrastructure for in-land logistics. Guinea holds the world's largest and highest quality reserves of bauxite, the raw material used in the production of aluminium.
The mine is scheduled to begin production in 2018, with plans to export bauxite via Port Kamsar to the Middle East and Pacific markets.
EGA added in the statement that it has plans for further investments in Guinea upon the successful completion of the bauxite export mine, including the development of an alumina refinery.
EGA said it is also currently constructing the UAE's first alumina refinery, on a site adjacent to its Al Taweelah Operations' aluminium smelter in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. The 2 Mtpa alumina refinery will reduce EGA's dependency on alumina imports by more than 40 percent.
Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA, said: "This investment builds on our plan to secure EGA's supply chain and capitalize on growth in the third party bauxite market. Despite the prevailing challenges facing the aluminium industry, we remain confident in the long-term outlook for the sector, and believe it is the right time for us to invest in high-quality, cost-competitive assets.
"We have built a strong presence in-country with the support of the government and people of Guinea, and we will continue our work to support local communities there - including training of more than 200 Guineans in the UAE for deployment to key roles in our business."
EGA's two operating sites in Abu Dhabi and Dubai currently produce 2.4 Mtpa of primary aluminium.
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