Alcan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Access Madagascar Sarl, a Malagasy company holding exploration rights in Madagascar’s south eastern Manantenina District, to jointly study the development of a bauxite mine and alumina refinery, which would have an initial capacity of 1.0 – 1.5 million tonnes of alumina per year.
“This study is very much in line with Alcan’s strategy to continually improve its portfolio of bauxite and alumina assets,” said Jacynthe Côté, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alcan Bauxite and Alumina (B&A). “Should the study show potential, development of the Manantenina reserves could create a solid platform from which to leverage some of Alcan’s key competitive advantages, such as its best-in-class technology and focus on promoting the economic, environmental and social well-being of its operating communities,” Côté added.
Alcan and Access will undertake a Concept Study to review the bauxite reserves and logistics, including estimates of costs, and an analysis of the social and environmental conditions. This Concept Study is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2007, which could then lead to feasibility studies.
“Madagascar is not unknown to Alcan. In the 1960s/1970s, Pechiney, which is today a part of Alcan, conducted detailed studies of the Manantenina reserves with the view of mining bauxite for export,” said Côté. “On the basis of these studies, Alcan is pleased to be exploring options today that, given vastly improved technology, could make an alumina refinery project viable,” she concluded.
Alcan Bauxite and Alumina is a recognized leader and supplier of alumina refinery technology and comprises Alcan’s worldwide activities related to bauxite mining and refining into smelter-grade and specialty aluminas. The group employs approximately 3,200 people and owns and/or operates six bauxite mines and deposits in five countries, five smelter-grade alumina plants in four countries and six specialty alumina plants in three countries. Alcan’s bauxite and alumina greenfield project pipeline also includes potential development in Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea and India.