Guinea’s ruling junta has given foreign companies until the end of May to submit proposals and a timetable for the construction of bauxite refineries.
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya in a meeting with stakeholders in Conakry asked that the industrialists ensure this was done before the end of May and that all raw materials used in the manufacturing process be produced locally.
“Despite the mining boom in the bauxite sector, we have to admit that the expected revenues are below expectations, and you and we cannot continue this game of fools that perpetuates great inequality in our relations” Colonel Doumbouya said.
The junta head also warned that foreign companies that violate the refinery construction deadlines will be penalized.
With an estimated 7.4 billion tons, Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, a mineral used in the manufacture of aluminum, which is essential for the automotive and food industries. It is also the second largest producer. China imports about half of its bauxite needs from Guinea.
However, the benefits to Guinea from bauxite mining and other abundant natural resources such as iron, gold and diamonds are notoriously disproportionate. Experts cite insufficient investment, lack of essential infrastructure such as roads, and rampant corruption as factors that have hindered growth.