Expat mining execs flee Guinea on security concern

CONAKRY, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Around half the expatriate workers at the world’s biggest bauxite exporter, Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), have fled Guinea due to rising tensions there, a source within the company said on Sunday.

Around 15 of CBG’s 30 foreign employees have left the West African country for “security reasons”, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Despite everything, it won’t affect forecast production,” he said.

Guinea’s military junta has attracted a storm of international condemnation since Sept. 28, when security forces killed more than 150 people in a crackdown on an anti-government protest.

Even before the massacre, the ruling National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) and its leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara had drawn domestic and international criticism by refusing to rule themselves out of running in elections, and for stifling political opposition.

Mineral exports are the chief foreign currency earner for Guinea, but the CNDD has had disputes, some of them ongoing, with several of the foreign firms that work there, including UC RUSAL and Anglogold Ashanti ANGJ.J.

CBG produced 13.7 million tonnes of aluminium ore bauxite in 2008, its highest annual volume. It is majority owned by Halco, a firm in which metals majors Alcoa AA.N and Rio Tinto RIO.L are partners.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Daniel Magnowski; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)