Increased bauxite production from from mines in Australia (+4.1%) and Guinea (+3.6%) is expected to push global output up 3.8% in 2021 to 372.8 million tonnes, according to research released by GlobalData.
The buoyant outlook follows a challenged 2020 that still churned out 1.2% more product at 359.2 million tonnes than in 2019.
“Over the forecast period (2021-2025), global bauxite production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2% to reach 406,700 tonnes by 2025,” Vinneth Bajaj, GlobalData’s associate project manager said in a news release.
“Australia (+1.6%) and Guinea (+6.5%) will maintain a steady supply growth, supported by a series of upcoming projects. Together, they account for eight of the 17 planned bauxite projects, tracked by GlobalData, which have the potential to commence production by 2025.”
In Australia, bauxite production growth will be supported by the restart of Metro Mining’s Bauxite Hills mine, where operations were halted due to the wet season. The mine is expected to produce about four million tonnes of bauxite in 2021.
Further, the formal commitment of the Stage 2 expansion of the mine to a capacity of six million tonnes, which is part of the company’s long-term development plan, will be dependent on the global market conditions.
In Guinea, the Boffa mine, which began operations in January 2020, is expected to gradually reach its full capacity during the second half of 2021, GlobalData reports. The mine is expected to produce up to nine million tonnes of bauxite in 2021, compared with seven million tonnes in 2020.
Earlier this year, operations began at the Garafiri project which has over 300 million tonnes of bauxite reserves. The project has an initial production capacity of three million tonnes, which will be expanded up to eight million tonnes.
In late July, China Railway Construction Corporation the announced completion of the construction of a railway line from Boffa to Boke, which will now increase the single trip freight volume to 10,000 tonnes, up from 5,000 tonnes, as part of the first phase of the Boke development project.
Phases 2 and 3 include exploitation of bauxite resources in the new mining areas of Santou II and Houda and development of an alumina refinery in the Boke special economic zone. Overall, this will play a crucial role in establishing Guinea as an export nation, according to GlobalData.
Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. It is the world’s main source of aluminium and gallium.