Guinea’s dominance as China’s top bauxite supplier raises concerns for aluminum production

Top Aluminum Producer in the World Faces Supply Challenges in Guinea

Bauxite imports from Guinea have become increasingly important to China’s aluminum production, with the country providing 70% of China’s bauxite imports last year. However, this heavy reliance on Guinea leaves Chalco vulnerable to disruptions that may arise due to local policy changes and strikes. In response, the company is exploring opportunities to develop additional mines in Guinea’s north and collaborate on bauxite projects in other regions.

Guinea has surpassed Australia and Indonesia to become the largest exporter of bauxite in recent years, with a significant portion of its exports heading 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. There is speculation that Guinea may mirror Indonesia’s policy of requiring foreign companies to establish refineries within the country.

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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