Moscow - Russian Aluminium, the world's No. 2 aluminium producer, will assume management responsibilities for the national bauxite company of the Republic of Guinea, Societe de Bauxite de Kindia (SBK), RusAl has announced.
As a result of an agreement signed in the Guinean capital of Conakry, RusAl will spend US$40 million over the next three years upgrading and expanding SBK's bauxite deposits in the prefecture of Kindia, and an equal amount on expansion of the Nikolaeyev alumina refinery in Ukraine, main user of SBK bauxite production.
The agreement is part of an inter-governmental programme of economic, scientific, technical and trade co-operation between Guinea and the Russian Federation. A signing ceremony in Conakry was attended by Gen. Lansana Conte, President, Republic of Guinea, and Alexander Blokhin, minister of nationalities and migration policy of the Russian Federation.
Alexander Bulygin, chief executive of Russian Aluminium Management, attending the ceremony on RusAl's behalf, said his company planned to raise SBK production to 2.5 million tonnes annually.
Mr. Bulygin said the programme is just one aspect of RusAl's growing involvement in Guinea. In particular, the company is purchasing more than half the production from an alumina refinery in the prefecture of Frigia.
In addition, there were preliminary discussions concerning a possible RusAl stake in another Guinean company, Compagnie de Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), as well as on possible RusAl participation in a number of other bauxite and alumina projects in the African republic.
A number of co-operation projects unrelated to aluminium production have also been discussed, including cultural, social and educational exchanges, the export of Russian-made automobiles to Guinea, and construction of officers quarters for the Guinean armed forces.
SOURCE OAO Russian Aluminium