BHP Billiton buys bauxite in Guinea

BHP Billiton has acquired a 33.3% interest in Global Alumina’s Sangaredi refinery project in Guinea, for $140 million. The project comprises the design, construction and operation of a 3 Mt/y alumina refinery, 9 Mt/y bauxite mine, and associated infrastructure. A mining concession covering 690km² has been secured and a mineral resource of 233 Mt of bauxite (at 39% available alumina and 1% reactive silica) has been reported. This is considered sufficient to support the development, but further exploration work is underway to increase the resource size. The proposed refinery site is approximately 100km inland from Kamsar and has the benefit of access to rail infrastructure linking it to the Port of Kamsar, where dedicated facilities are already under construction.

Graeme Hunt, President Aluminium for BHP Billiton: “This project provides the partners with access to a long life, low cost, world class resource base. In view of BHP Billiton’s other exploration interests in Guinea, this project also offers us valuable experience of operating in this first tier minerals province.”

As part of the agreement, BHP Billiton will appoint the CEO and CFO of the Joint Venture Company (JVC) and will enter into a services agreement with the JVC for the development, construction and operation of the project, which will be operated in accordance with BHP Billiton standards.

Global Alumina will now hold a 33.3% equity interest in the Sangaredi project, Dubai Aluminium a 25% interest and Mubadala Development 8.3%