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Fri 10 Feb 2017 11:17 AM

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UAE's EGA hires US firm to oversee Guinea mining project

Emirates Global Aluminium says it has appointed Fluor to help develop bauxite mine in the Boke region of Guinea

UAE's EGA hires US firm to oversee Guinea mining project

A subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has awarded a contract for its under-construction bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa to Fluor Corporation.

Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) has awarded the engineering and programme management consultancy, with he total value of contracts and purchases to be managed by Fluor to be worth $700 million, a statement said.

Fluor said it will work with GAC to develop a 12 million tonne per annum bauxite mine in the Boké region of Guinea, a dedicated export terminal at Kamsar on the Guinean coast, and rail and other infrastructure upgrades.

US-based Fluor completed the feasibility study for GAC in the second quarter of 2016.

EGA is investing $1 billion in the project in total, the largest greenfield investment in Guinea in four decades. The project is expected to contribute 10 per cent to Guinea’s GDP, and create 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. Production is scheduled to begin ramp-up in 2018.

Bauxite is the ore from which most of the world’s aluminium is derived. The Guinea project is EGA’s first in bauxite mining, and will help secure the resources needed by the UAE’s growing aluminium industry as well as creating a new revenue stream for EGA.

Bauxite is refined into alumina which is the feedstock for aluminium smelters. EGA said it is currently constructing the UAE’s first alumina smelter at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi.

The aluminium sector in the UAE employs almost 30,000 people, making it the largest employer amongst the country’s energy-intensive industries. EGA is the only producer of primary aluminium in the UAE, and supplies around 20 local downstream companies which make products with its metal.

Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s managing director and CEO, said: “The award of this contract is a major step-forward in our Guinea project, which is economically important for both Guinea and the United Arab Emirates. I am pleased with our progress in Guinea so far.”

Rick Koumouris, president of Fluor’s Mining & Metals business, added: “We will leverage our global expertise in marine structures, port terminals and mineral processing along with our experience in Guinea to deliver innovative design and project execution solutions that improve capital efficiency.”

Last October EGA inaugurated a container terminal facility at Kamsar Port in Guinea. This facility is being used for the export of bulk bauxite samples and the import of equipment for the GAC construction project.

On the completion of construction of the project it will be handed to the state for third-party use, the statement added.

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