CONAKRY, May 29 (Reuters) - Guinea bauxite miner Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) plans a $1 billion expansion to increase its production capacity to 23.5 million tonnes per year by 2018 to respond to increased demand, the firm’s director general said on Friday.
CBG is 51 percent owned by Halco Mining consortium, controlled by aluminium producer Alcoa, global miner Rio Tinto and Dadco Investments.
The company signed a contract with Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) in 2013 to supply 10 million tonnes of bauxite, starting with 5 million tonnes from 2017.
Namory Conde said CBG had signed other supply deals which required it to invest heavily to expand its production capacity to meet the demand.
“We have finalised a roundtable with financial partners. The expansion project will cost around $1 billion,” Conde said, but did not give details on how the funds will be secured.
He added that financial advisers selected by the partners will visit the firm in June to conclude the project.
Conde said 2014 output was not adversely affected by the worst outbreak on record of an Ebola epidemic which began in Guinea and spread to several countries in the region, killing over 11,000 people.
Although the outbreak curtailed mining activities in the region, Conde said CBG’s operations in Kamsar, north of the capital Conakry, was spared the worst of the epidemic as production hit a record 15.2 million tonnes in 2014 compared with 15 million in 2013.
Conde said the firm took draconian measures to protect workers and continue operations during the outbreak. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Bate Felix, editing by David Evans)