France’s AMR Seeks Rights for $200 Million Guinea Bauxite Mine

  • Company filed application for 15-year mining license
  • Bauxite production may start 2019 at 5 million tons a year

French bauxite explorer Alliance Miniere Responsable said it filed for permission to develop a $200 million mining project in northern Guinea.

AMR seeks the right to mine bauxite in the West African nation’s Boke district for at least 15 years, Romain Girbal, president and co-founder of the Paris-based company, said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The company wants to complete the development of the mine and lift annual output to 5 million metric tons of the ore by 2019, he said.

“We’re on time with respect to our set schedule,” Girbal said in the statement. Guinea “has strong ambitions to develop the industry and has regulations in line with the best international practices.”

Investment in Guinea’s bauxite mines is key to unlocking faster economic growth in country, which holds more than a quarter of the known reserves of the ore that gets processed into aluminum. Guinea will pass Australia to become China’s main source of bauxite in 2017 as the International Aluminum Institute forecasts that shipments will reach 13 million metric tons this year, up from just 300,000 tons in 2015.

Privately held AMR’s shareholders include French telecommunications billionaire Xavier Niel, along with former Areva SA CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Edouard Louis-Dreyfus, president of the shipping company that bears his name, the company said in January.

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