Iran, Guinea revive 25-year bauxite plan
Iran and Guinea have resurrected a deal to extract bauxite in the African country after a delay of 25 years and ship it to the Middle East for aluminum production.
The project, worth $505 million, includes production for three years over 5,684 square kilometers with combined reserves of 600 million tonnes in central Guinea.
Under the deal, Iran will hold a 51% stake in the Societe des Bauxites de Dabola-Tougue (SBDT) project and the Guinean government the rest.
The agreement was first signed in 1992 to ship 4 million tonnes of bauxite per year from Guinea to Iran for aluminum production but operation never started for no clear reasons.
A new document to revive the deal was signed at the end of July by Guinean Minister of Mines Kerfalla Yansane and Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.
Guinea sits on the world’s largest reserves of bauxite — the main feedstock in aluminum production — estimated around 40 billion tonnes.
Iran and Guinea have also discussed investment plans in to develop the African country’s iron, gold, and diamond reserves.
Iran itself produces about 340,000 metric tons of aluminum per year and plans to raise it to 1.5 million tons by 2025 with an investment of about $12 billion.
Its biggest aluminum manufacturer, the Iranian Aluminum Company (Iralco), is based in the central city of Arak and listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange.
Iranian and Indian officials are due to meet this week to discuss plans for construction of an aluminum smelter and a captive power plant in Iran in a project worth about $2.6 billion.
India’s National Aluminum Co Ltd (NALCO) has said it would prefer a local partner who could supply cheap electricity to set up the smelter with a capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of aluminum per year.