(Ecofin Agency) - Alufer Mining announced this week the start of production of its bel Air bauxite mine in Guinea and first shipment to China. Project construction lasted 18 months and was completed on time and within budget.
The company also erected its own port, berth, export facilities and a 25 km road. During construction, it employed over 1,500 people, 85% of the workforce being Guinean and more than half from local communities.
“We are very proud to reach this milestone. Building a mine within such a short timeframe on a Greenfield site, on time, on budget and with an exemplary safety record is a rare achievement,” commented CEO Bernie Pryor.
Work at Bel Air will now target stable production of 5.5 million tons per year, in addition to Guinea's current production of over 40 million tons. The country is the world’s third-largest aluminum producer.
Located in the Boffa region, the Bel Air mine was financed with up to $205 million by a consortium composed of Africa Finance Corporation, Orion Mine Finance and Resource Capital Funds. This financing is the "first and largest foreign investment in Guinea since the Ebola crisis in 2014".