ABIDJAN - Guinea will have alumina refineries in the coming years, but these projects are capital-intensive and complex, Guinea's second-biggest bauxite miner said on Monday, after a new ultimatum from the government keen to boost mineral processing.
Bauxite mining companies have 10 days to present a timeline for the construction of alumina refineries, extending an end of May deadline the companies did not meet, the West African country's ruling junta said on Friday.
Guinea is Africa's biggest producer of the aluminium ore, and China relies on the country for around half its bauxite imports.
"There are no contradictions between the will of the mining companies to meet their obligations in terms of refineries ... and the political will to see this happen. It is legitimate," Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) CEO Souleymane Traoré told the Africa CEO Forum conference in Abidjan.
"I am confident and convinced that Guinea will have refineries in the coming years," Traoré said, cautioning however that concerned parties should be conscious of the complexities involved.
Traoré told Reuters the miner is working on its refinery plan, but that he could not yet provide details.
Analysts have said access to energy, among other things, is a hurdle to developing alumina refineries in Guinea.
CBG produced 17.4 million tonnes of bauxite in 2021, accounting for around a fifth of Guinea's production, according to mines ministry statistics. (Reporting by Bate Felix, Writing by Helen Reid, Editing by David Evans)