JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – London-listed Central African Mining & Exploration Company (Camec) has discovered an inferred bauxite resource of 439-million tons in Mali, the company announced on Tuesday.
The Faléa resource, which complies with Australia’s Joint Ore Reserve Committee (Jorc), has an available alumina content of 37,7% and reactive silica of 1,9%, equating to 152-million tons of smelter-grade alumina.
Camec CEO Andre Groves said that the bauxite grades and the resource size of the Faléa deposit warranted further exploration.
He added that Faléa had a projected smelter-grade alumina cost of $182/t, which puts the resource in the lower quartile of the cost curve.
“With the Chinese pursuing a strategy of self-sufficiency in aluminium supply to meet the demands of intensive urbanisation, and Chinese local production of bauxite/alumina being generally in the higher end of the cost curve, there is increasing demand for new cheaper capacity,” he said in a statement to the London bourse.
The company would undertake a prefeasiblity study for the development of a large-scale refinery project, based on the Faléa bauxite district, once its commitments to infrastructure development were assured.
Consultants Butty, Herinckx & Partners, which completed the Jorc-compliant resource, stated that a refinery using the low-cost, low-temperature Bayer process to produce three-million tons a year of smelter-grade alumina could be built at the deposit.
Faléa is located about 80 km north-west of steel giant ArcelorMittal’s Faleme iron-ore project in Senegal, which should lead to “significant” infrastructure benefits.
Camec said that its cooperation with ArcelorMittal was expediting the promotion of regional infrastructure needs with both the Mali and Senegalese governments.