Guinea signs infrastructure sharing agreements with two miners

CONAKRY, June 25 (Reuters) - Guinea and its state miner have signed infrastructure sharing agreements with two of the country’s leading mining companies in an effort to accelerate development of large-scale bauxite projects, a government official and one of the companies said.

The accords, hammered out during negotiations in Paris, detail how key infrastructure, including a railway and port in the northwestern Boké region, will be shared.

They involve state-owned Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), a local unit of Russia’s Rusal, known as COBAD, and GAC, owned by Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

CBG is both the concessionaire and a user of the infrastructure which is managed by the state mining infrastructure agency, ANAIM.

“The multi-user railway contract between ANAIM, CBG, GAC and COBAD defines the common user rules for the Boké railway,” Saadou Nimaga, legal adviser at Guinea’s mines ministry, told Reuters.

Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer, launched the Dian-Dian bauxite project last year. Bauxite is used to produce alumina, which is used for aluminium production.

Dian-Dian is the world’s largest bauxite deposit with reserves of 564 million tonnes, according to Rusal.

The company plans to invest $220 million in the first stage of the project, which foresees the construction of a mine with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes by 2016 with the potential for an increase of up to 6 million tonnes. {ID:nL6N0PL4M2]

“We are happy that we have come to a mutual understanding with our partners and signed a multilateral agreement to use the existing railway infrastructure of the Boké province together,” Rusal’s Chief Executive Vladislav Soloviev said in a statement.

In addition to the railway agreement, Emirates Global Aluminium’s GAC signed accords related to the use of the port of Kamsar and the conception, financing and construction of a new ore terminal there, Nimaga said.

The GAC project’s first phase, including construction of the mine at Sangaredi in the Boké region, is expected to cost Emirate’s Global Aluminium around $1 billion. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Toni Reinhold)