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Dakar — A consortium of the Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Singapore’s Winning Shipping plans to build a new alumina refinery in Guinea in a $3bn effort to develop the West African country’s bauxite industry. Guinea has about a third of the world’s bauxite reserves and expects to produce more than 30-million tonnes in 2017. However, it has no open facilities to transform those reserves into higher-grade alumina, which can fetch higher prices on world markets. The project will include a 120km railway connecting SMB’s bauxite mines in Boke to the refinery in Dapilon, which will process the raw material for export as alumina, mainly to China, the MD of SMB, Frederic Bouzigues, said. Construction of the 1-million-tonne-per-year refinery is due to start in 2019 after the completion of environmental impact and feasibility studies. It is expected to be completed in 2022, Bouzigues said. "The local processing of raw materials is one of the biggest challenges for a more inclusive growth i...

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