Guinea: The Surprising Largest Bauxite Exporter to China and the Risks it Faces for its Future Supplies

Top Aluminum Producer in the World Faces Supply Challenges in Guinea

In recent years, Guinea has emerged as the largest exporter of bauxite, surpassing Australia and Indonesia. A significant portion of its exports have gone to China for aluminum production. As China’s own bauxite production has declined and Indonesia has restricted exports, China’s dependence on Guinea for bauxite imports is expected to increase.

Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (Chalco) has identified potential risks to its bauxite supplies from Guinea, which provided 70% of China’s bauxite imports last year. This heavy reliance on Guinea leaves Chalco vulnerable to disruptions that may arise due to local policy changes and strikes. The company aims to maintain a steady supply chain from its single mine in Guinea, while also exploring opportunities to develop additional mines in the country’s north and collaborate on bauxite projects in other regions.

Despite reporting a 60% increase in net income last year, Chalco warned of challenges ahead due to slow global economic growth and rising geopolitical risks. The company highlighted issues in the domestic market such as weak demand and uncertain expectations, emphasizing the need to navigate these uncertainties while maintaining a stable supply chain for bauxite production.

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