ABU DHABI, Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation, GAC, has successfully closed the Republic of Guinea's largest-ever project financing for a greenfield mining project, in a step forward for EGA's bauxite mining project and for Guinea's economy.

The $750 million loan has a tenor of 12 to 14 years and was extended by development finance institutions, export credit agencies and international commercial banks. The loan represents the first time multilateral institutions and international commercial banks have participated together in a project financing for a greenfield mining project in Guinea.

GAC's success in securing this ground-breaking project financing raises the profile of Guinea in international financial markets and sets a new benchmark for how Guinean projects can be financed, potentially improving Guinea's access to international capital and boosting the national economy.

The financing supports the development of a bauxite mine as well as related transport infrastructure, including an upgrade to an existing multi-user rail system and the development of a port, in the first phase of GAC's investment in the country. The mine has some of the world's best quality resources of bauxite � the primary input in the production of alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters. Aluminium is used in industries including aerospace, packaging and transportation.

The approximately $1.4 billion project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the last 40 years and is an integral part of EGA's strategy to integrate upstream in the aluminium value chain.

A later phase of the project envisages the construction of an alumina refinery.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA and Chairman of GAC, said, "The partnership we have formed with GAC's lenders secures the long-term success of our Guinea project and for EGA this project financing is in line with our capital allocation strategy. We are committed to completing and then operating the GAC project to high standards, contributing to improving sustainability performance in Guinea whilst helping to grow the economy."

Guinea is the world's largest bauxite mineral resource holder and GAC's production will contribute further to the country's position as a global bauxite supplier. Production from the GAC project is expected to begin during the second half of 2019 and is expected to be 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year once steady state operations are achieved. The construction of the GAC project is more than 90 per cent complete.

Over 4,600 people were employed in the construction of the GAC project at peak, more than 85 percent Guineans. During the operations phase, the project is expected to directly employ some 1,000 people. GAC also invests to support the communities near its operations including in health, infrastructure, education and training.

Source: Emirates News Agency