12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China
Sun Zhijun: Build up a chain of bauxite supply and logistics; Create a diversified shipping industry
----Interview with Sun Zhijun, Vice president of Winning International Group
The success of our corporate strategy led to the formal incorporation of the Winning International Group in 2010. As part of this transformation process, we have expanded our core business areas to include ship chartering, trans-shipment services, fleet ownership, fleet management, resource development and trade services. Currently, the Group has 12 subsidiary companies, including shipping operation company, ship management company, trading company and resource company, ship owning companies.

Asian Metal: Thank you very much for accepting this interview. How is everything going on your bauxite project in Guinea? When will the goods be delivered and when are they likely to arrive in China?

Sun: Today (20 July) we successfully held a ceremony for the first bauxite shipment at Boke Port in Guinea, representing a formal starting point in the implementation of the company’s strategy in Africa. The president of Guinea invited all foreign diplomats and offered a special invitation to Bian Jianqiang, the Chinese ambassador to Guinea, to attend this ceremony. Many significant figures were present at this grand ceremony, including Sun Xiushun, the president of Winner International Group; Zhang Bo, the president of our partner, Weiqiao Pioneer; and Mr. Fathi, the president of UMS.
The first shipment is “M.V. WINNING CONFIDENCE” with a volume of 180,000t of bauxite, which is expected to arrive in Yantai Port, China in mid-September. The duration of the shipment will be 10-15 days.

Asian Metal: How many shipments can be made per month? Are there any shipping tasks this year?

Sun: We plan to make 2-3 shipments in the first phase. If the logistics equipment is ready, our shipments may reach 500,000t this year.

Asian Metal: Which companies are involved in the investments in your bauxite project in Guinea? When did this project start?

Sun: The project is being carried out collectively by Winner International Group, Weiqiao Pioneer, Yantai Port Group Co., Ltd. and UMS of Guinea. The idea of investing in Guinea came into being back in 2010 and was put into practice earlier this year. It has only taken 100 days prior to 20 July to finish construction of the port. Most of the equipment used in mining and port construction and related construction materials are transported from China by our ships. The logistical support facilities, such as floating cranes, barges, tugboats etc. have been laid on by Winner International Group since early 2014, and are sent to the Boke area in Guinea to participate in the construction work and future operations.

Asian Metal: How far is the mine from the port? What are the reserves and quality of the ore like?

Sun: The mine is about 30 kilometers away from the port. Guinea is quite rich in bauxite reserves. Our own mine is located on the riverside with reserves of more than 100 million tonnes, and is ranked as having high quality gibbsite with an aluminum content of 42%-45%min and extremely low silicon content.

Asian Metal: Will the bauxite in Guinea impact the ores in Malaysia and other areas later on?

Sun: When we realize the capacity of our mine, it will exert an impact on bauxite in other areas. We have targeted an annual capacity of 30 million tonnes within two years.

Asian Metal: According to our statistics, the demand from China for imported bauxite is about 4.6 million tonnes , so the annual output of 30 million tonnes is bound to impact bauxite from other areas. In addition, what do you think the advantages and disadvantages of Guinean bauxite might be?

Sun: The advantages of Guinean bauxite lie in the high aluminum content, stable quality and low silicon content, while the disadvantages are focused around the high logistics fees resulting from the long shipping distance.

Asian Metal: As far as we know, the price of Brazilian bauxite currently stands at about USD70/t CIF China. What is your cost for Guinean bauxite delivered to China?

Sun: Our CIF price is certainly more competitive than that of the Brazilian bauxite.

Asian Metal: Can local ports be taken as the P.O.C. for vessels?

Sun: No. The ship has to be docked in the anchorage. Ores will be carried to the anchorage via the river, and will be loaded onto the vessel using the floating cranes.

Asian Metal: How many barges and cranes does your company have?

Sun: We have four barges, five tugs and a large floating crane in Guinea and another floating crane, five tugboats and four large barges will be delivered there. Advanced transport and loading equipment will continue to be sent to Guinea, according to the capacity and loading requirements in the future.

Asian Metal: What effect do you think the success of the Guinean project will have on the whole industry?

Sun: The success of the project is significant for the whole of the bauxite industry, providing a new source of bauxite to aluminum oxide enterprises in China, and improving the stability of resource supply. This project also creates a new cape-size route for vessels, reshaping the shipping industry. In addition, it will facilitate trading activities between China and Guinea following the establishment of logistics channels, forming a kind of two-way logistics that will extend to surrounding areas and the harbor hinterland. The impacts of this project will gradually become apparent.

Asian Metal: Your company is actively exploring the markets in Malaysia, India and other countries following the export ban on bauxite imposed by Indonesia. Would you like to introduce your business to these areas?

Sun: Yes, of course. We are not only doing business in Malaysia and India, but also transporting the material in Australia and Dominica. In the first half of this year, transportations of bauxite will reach about 7 million tonnes in Malaysia, 3.56 million tonnes in Australia, 1.03 million tonnes in Dominica and 1.22 million tonnes in India.

Asian Metal: What do you think of the possible new policies on bauxite mining in Malaysia in the second half of this year? Will this affect your bauxite business in Malaysia?

Sun: The Malaysia government may make some adjustments around the exploitation license and we are closely observing the effect of these policies. Adjustments are beneficial to the market order, otherwise the long-term stability of supply and transportation will be affected. I think these changes will influence our sales to a considerable extent.

Asian Metal: As far as we know, your company has been loading bauxite in vessels since late last year. Up until now, how many vessels have been filled?

Sun: As of today, we have loaded 21 capesize vessels with 3-4 per month. There are three large floating cranes involved in the shipping work at present and each can be loaded with about 20,000t of bauxite.

Asian Metal: Have you got the latest news about Indonesia's bauxite export policy? How is your operation in the alumina plant in Indonesia faring? When will it be put into operation?

Sun: There is no news about the resumption of bauxite exports. The designed capacity of our alumina plant in Indonesia is 2 million tonnes per year and we plan to produce 500,000t at the end of December and 500,000t in March of next year. The capacity will reach 2 million tonnes in 2017.

Asian Metal: Which companies are involved in investing in this alumina plant? What are the specific amounts invested and when did this project start?

Sun: The project is collectively funded by Winner International Group, Weiqiao Pioneer and Harita Group of Indonesia with a total investment of about USD1 billion with Winner International Group accounting for about 10%. The project started in late 2013 with a construction period of about two years.

Asian Metal: What are your suggestions concerning transportation within the bauxite industry in view of the current unstable export policies in Indonesia and Malaysia?

Sun: I think we should diversify the channels of resource supply, integrate the upstream and downstream industries and create reasonable interest and share risks through establishing a complete system of mining investment, ports and shipping logistics supply chain. We should channel our endeavors into the sea transportation and then work beyond it, bringing interest and well-being to people in the resource countries and creating value for clients, and only on this basis will sustainable development be seen by maritime enterprises.

Asian Metal: Thanks for your patience with this interview. Thank you!