May 2018

The global traded bauxite market is poised for another surge in demand growth, driven by China’s growing primary aluminium demand combined with its depleting domestic bauxite reserves. We see the construction of the next generation of Chinese merchant alumina refineries as imminent. We forecast bauxite imports into China to double over the next eight years, increasing from 69 million t in 2017 to over 140 million tonnes by the end of 2025.

Where will the bauxite come from?

Over the past five years, Guinea has emerged as the single largest source of imported bauxite into China, increasing from 0.8 Mt (1%) in 2013 to 28 Mt (40%). This phenomenal increase has been achieved almost entirely by one company, the China-backed SMB-WAP Alliance, which managed to export a staggering ~30 million tonnes (wet) from Guinea to China in 2017.

Several new bauxite export projects are looking to come on-stream over the next few years, but how successful with they be?

  • Which projects will be successful and why?
  • Will there be a market for their products?
  • How do their bauxite grades vary and what impact will grade variation have on the ultimate prices they attract?
  • Will bauxite exporters be required to build alumina refineries in Guinea?

CM is the world’s benchmark bauxite industry analytical company; we’ve been at the coal face of China’s domestic bauxite industry for decades and visited all the global bauxite hotspots many times. We are also developer and publisher of the world’s first bauxite price index (CBIX), which has now become the industry’s benchmark price.

In 2016 we prepared our first detailed Guinea bauxite industry report. In March 2018 we went back into Guinea to get back amongst the weeds and find out for ourselves what’s happening and what’s changed.

Even we were blown away with what we found.

The analysis and findings are brought together in this concise, targeted, executive-style report, which is cradled in the context of CM’s global bauxite market outlook. We focus on the key issues facing Guinea’s bauxite export industry

  • Infrastructure
  • Mining and transport costs
  • Royalties and other fees
  • Grades
  • Mining code and government policy

We discuss the enablers and constraints facing new bauxite projects and we consider what elements are necessary for projects to be brought to a successful completion.

For further information about the report, please contact the CBIX bauxite team.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Reserves, Resources and Grades
  4. Historical Production and Current Producers
  5. Committed and Potential New Producers
  6. Infrastructure
  7. Government Policy
  8. Major Users of Guinean Bauxite
  9. Current and Future Production Costs
  10. Outlook for Guinean Exporters

Back to All General Updates

Bauxite Index Quarterly Wraps

Get started with a subscription today.

China’s Aluminium Value Chain Quarterly Update is an independent and detailed assessment of the key metrics of China’s bauxite, alumina and primary aluminium industries, as we see them, presented in the form of an easily digestible set of charts and tables, together with relevant commentary on significant events, emerging trends and other key themes arising from our analysis.

For over a decade, we have been continually conducting in-depth studies of these industries in China, among which field studies are a cornerstone of our work. Over that time, we have drawn on, and continue to draw on, a diverse range of sources to gather primary data, on which our analyses and forecasts are based.

Access Now