Guinea Must Tighten Grip on Bauxite Industry, President Says

GUINEA (Capital Markets in Africa) – Guinea wants to get a tighter grip on its bauxite industry and keep out companies that aren’t consumers of the ore, President Alpha Conde said in a speech on state television.

“We don’t want traders in Guinea. It’s abnormal that we have more than half of the world’s bauxite reserves but not even 2 percent of the market share,” Conde said. “We’re producers and we’re going to work directly with our main consumers. We don’t need middlemen and people who take our profit. We want all of the profit.” Conde made the comments in a Jan. 11 speech to students in the capital, Conakry, that was broadcast on state TV early Friday.

The West African nation holds the world’s biggest reserves of the ore used to make aluminum and has been pushing for the development of the Simandou project, the world’s largest undeveloped iron-ore reserve. Rio Tinto Group and Alcoa Corp. are joint owners of bauxite production in the country with the government.

There are currently no Guinea-based traders or intermediaries in the strict sense of the term, and the president was talking about a policy the government plans to put in place, Alkhaly Yamoussa Bangoura, Conde’s mining adviser, said by phone Friday.

“He was referring to companies that mine for minerals and go elsewhere to sell them and that are not consumers. We don’t want to change existing agreements,” Bangoura said, without giving further details.

Leave a Comment