CONAKRYGuinea aims to more than treble bauxite production to 60-million tonnes by 2020, investing heavily to meet strong demand for the raw material from China, its mines minister said on Wednesday.

The West African naion has about a third of the world’s bauxite reserves, which are refined and smelted to make aluminium, though development had until recently been hampered by years of military rule and civil unrest.

“The minimal objective for the government is to bring bauxite production from 18-million tonnes in 2015 to 60-million tonnes within three years,” Abdoulaye Magassouba said.

He added that $2-billion had been invested in the sector last year, without giving specifics on the projects.

Guinea‘s Bauxite Company (CBG) said last year that it had reached an agreement in principle over a $1-billion loan to increase production capacity at the Kamsar treatment plant.

Halco Mining consortium has a 51% share in CBG and the Guinea government owns the rest.

Another large investor is Guinean-Chinese consortium SMB-WAP, which began exporting bauxite from Guinea in 2015.

Source: Reuters

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