Construction of Emirates Global Aluminium’s (EGA) bauxite mining project in Africa's Republic of Guinea has reached 75% completion.

The project, according to UAE state news agency Wam, has a total budgeted cost of approximately $1.4bn (AED5.7bn), and is being developed by EGA subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC).

The largest greenfield investment in the West African country for the last four decades, the GAC project is being built by almost 3,000 people – 80% of whom are Guineans.

Wam said the project has required around “23 million man hours of work so far, the equivalent of one person working for some 18,000 years”.

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Guinea is the world’s largest bauxite resource holder. Once full ramp up is achieved, the project is expected to produce 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year, set to be sold to aluminium producers around the world.

During the operational phase, the project is expected to directly employ 400 people, in addition to 400 subcontractors.

Speaking on the news, Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s managing director and chief executive officer, said: “We are now entering the final phase of construction of our project in Guinea and the team [there] is focused on achieving ‘first ore on ship’ safely, responsibly, on time and on budget.

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“Whilst construction continues, work is also progressing well on preparations to operate the mine and export facilities efficiently for the benefit of Guinea and EGA for decades ahead."

Building on the company’s decades-long experience of aluminium smelting in the UAE, the Guinea project is reportedly part of EGA’s strategic drive to expand its business upstream and internationally.

In addition to the GAC project, the group is also building the UAE’s first alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi. Alumina refineries convert bauxite ore into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters.