China agrees to lend Guinea $20 billion for bauxite concessions

China will loan Guinea US$20 billion over a 20-year period in exchange for concessions on bauxite, which the West African nation has in abundance, according to Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba.

The loan will guarantee the development of three projects in the town of Boffa; China Power Investment Corp’s (CPI) planned alumina refinery and Aluminium Corp of China’s (Chalco) bauxite mine, along with another bauxite project by China Henan International Cooperation Group.

“Those are the three projects targeted as priorities for the first phase,” said Magassouba. “The revenues these projects generate will serve as reimbursement for the loans.”

The minister added that the money would be spent on much-needed infrastructural development across the country, including roads and highways construction and a project for extending the port of Conakry.

Guinea is Africa’s leading producer of bauxite, an ore of aluminium, holding some of the world’s richest bauxite and iron ore deposits, including the Simandou iron ore deposit in its remote east, which is currently laden with legal disputes.