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

6th World Antimony Forum

April 23-24, 2018
Zhangjiajie, China

6th International Refractories & Abrasives Summit

April 19-20, 2018
Beijing, China
WAB is developing Missira Bauxite Project in Guinea
----Interview with Michael Nesbitt
Managing Director
West African Bauxite
West African Bauxite SA is developing the Missira Bauxite project in conjunction with its local partner Camen Resources. Missira is located 25km northeast of Sangaredi. Our Environmental impact Study has been approved, and the application for a Mining Licence has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Asian Metal: According to China Customs, in the first five months of this year, China imported around 23 million tonnes of bauxite from Guinea, up by 36% YOY. How do you think of the big increase? What are the advantages of Guinean bauxite?

Michael Nesbitt: Guinea has some of the best quality bauxite in the world, and with significant quantities. Guinea will continue to be in the spotlight moving forward, and will start to replace some traditional bauxite jurisdictions.

Asian Metal: Based on Asian Metal Database, China consumed around 7.8 million tonnes of imported bauxite in June, 2019, up by 29% YOY, and China's dependency on imported bauxite reached 51.5% in June, up from around 42% late last year. More and more Chinese inland alumina refineries from Henan and Shanxi provinces turned to imported bauxite.
Will the change continue in the coming two years? What is your opinion?

Michael Nesbitt: I’d say so, given the quantity and quality of Guinean bauxite, and the decreasing supply in China, I think more refineries will turn to Guinea.

Asian Metal: In the second half of this year, there might be five new bauxite producers in Guinea. Regarding Missira Project of West African Bauxite, when will you launch the project? How about the infrastructure construction progress, including road and port?

Michael Nesbitt: We expect to have the mining permit in hand shortly, and would look to develop the project soon thereafter. There are large infrastructure projects that are being undertaken, including a rail only 30km from our project.

Asian Metal: Would you please briefly introduce the identified reserves, designed annual production capacity and bauxite quality of Missira Project?

Michael Nesbitt: We have 728 Mdt indicated and inferred (JORC) bauxite AAl2O3 40.6%min, including 89 Mdt bauxite AAl2O3 45.4%min, with RxSiO2 of 1.3%max. The initial annual production capacity will be 3 million tonnes, which will improve to 5 and 10 million tonnes in the future.

Asian Metal: Do you have any other partners for the investment? How do you think of the total budget for the project investment?

Michael Nesbitt: WAB is partnered with Guinean mining expert Camen Resources. Camen and WAB have worked together for the past 5 years to establish the resource and develop the Missira Project. The budget will depend, possibly 70 million US dollars.

Asian Metal: Regarding the sales market, have you contacted any potential buyers in China or other countries?

Michael Nesbitt: We have been contacted by a few Chinese buyers and traders but haven’t actively sought out buyers yet. We are happy to discuss with anyone looking for bauxite, or looking to secure their own supply of bauxite.

Asian Metal: Some bauxite producers in Guinea are planning to build alumina refineries. Will you have the plan?

Michael Nesbitt: We have discussed possibly building smaller scale refineries, but our priority now is to build a mine and export bauxite. Value added is always preferred, but we are taking this one step at a time.

Asian Metal: In early July, the price for Guinean bauxite dropped to USD52-54/t CIF China from USD55-57/t late last year. How do you think of the price trend in H2 this year?

Michael Nesbitt: It’s always hard to speculate on price, as so many variables are at play, but my sense is that the price should stabilize above USD50/t.

Asian Metal: Do you have any suggestions for a sustainable and healthy Guinean bauxite development?

Michael Nesbitt: By tapping some of the dedicated environmental and social sustainability experts that are available in Guinea to help implement ESIS plans, Guinea will be able to ensure a long and sustainable future for its mining sector.