Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) said on Thursday it has signed a three-year deal to supply China's Bosai Group with "several million tonnes" annually of bauxite from Guinea.
Bauxite, the main aluminium ore, is refined into alumina, which is then used to make aluminium metal. China is the world's biggest aluminium producer and Guinea is its top bauxite supplier.
United Arab Emriates-based EGA, which mines bauxite in West Africa through its Guinea Alumina Corp subsidiary, said in a statement the first shipment to Bosai under the deal was expected to be made in January 2022. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
It noted it had supplied Bosai with more than 1 million tonnes of bauxite this year under short-term agreements.
Bosai, based in southwest China's Chongqing municipality, has capacity to produce 1.7 million tonnes per year of alumina, as well as 450,000 tonnes of primary aluminium.
China's demand for imported bauxite is set to increase by around 20% to 132 million tonnes in 2022, state-backed research house Antaike said on Thursday, as companies including Bosai add a total of 6.6 million tonnes of annual alumina capacity.
Some 5.2 million tonnes of new alumina capacity will be put into operation in the first half of next year, Antaike added in a note, estimating that imports will meet 52% of China's bauxite demand in 2021.
(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Sam Holmes) ((email@example.com; +86 10 5669 2119;))