The Boffa-Boké project, investing in Guinea’s future
Following a memorandum of understanding finalized March 21, 2018, the SMB Winning Consortium, represented by Société Minière de Boké, and the government of the Republic of Guinea signed three agreements to carry out an extensive project in the Boké Region. It includes (i) construction of 135 km of railway in a corridor stretching from Boffa Prefecture to Boké Prefecture, (ii) production and industrial exploitation of bauxite resources in the new mining areas of Santou II and Houda, and (iii) construction and operation of an alumina refinery in the Boké Special Economic Zone. The Consortium has also committed to a large-scale agricultural development project along the railway corridor.
The Consortium’s total investment in the project is estimated at US$3 billion.
The new mining deposits are expected to begin operations in 2022, with a projected production of 10 million tons in the first year. Production should reach 20 million tons in 2023 and 30 million tons in 2024. The bauxite will be transported along the railway that will connect the mining areas of Santou and Houda (Télimélé Prefecture) to the Dapilon river terminal (Boké Prefecture). It will require the construction of six bridges and two long tunnels for a total investment of $US1.2 billion. The technical studies will be completed by the end of 2018, construction will begin in 2019, and operations will begin in 2022.
With a capacity of up to 1 million tons per year, the refinery will be powered by a dedicated power plant equipped with advanced slag-processing technology in compliance with applicable environmental standards. During construction, the refinery is expected to create several thousand jobs and subcontract local companies specializing in civil engineering, quarrying, construction, and services. The total cost of investment is between $US700 million and $US900 million.