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Completion of Construction of Bel Air Bauxite Mine in Guinea

LAGOS, Nigeria, 8 August 2018,-African Media Agency (AMA)/- Africa Finance Corporation ("AFC" or "the Corporation"), the leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa, is pleased to announce the on-time completion of the Bel Air Mine in Guinea and loading of its first shipment of high grade bauxite to China. The construction of the mine was completed on time, to budget. Steady state production capacity will be 5.5 million tonnes of bauxite per annum, which will add to Guinea's average yearly exports of c.35 m tonnes of bauxite. 

The_Bel_Air_Mine.jpgThe Bel Air Mine, developed by Alufer Mining Ltd. ("Alufer"), is located in the Boffa region of Western Guinea. Alufer's Bel Air Mine was financed as part of an international investment consortium, which included AFC (the sole African private sector financier), Orion Mine Finance, with over US$2.5 billion in assets under management, and Resource Capital Funds, a mining focused equity firm with over US$2.5 billion under management.

The total invested by the consortium was US$205m, making it the first and largest foreign investment in Guinea since the 2014 Ebola crisis. During construction, the project employed over 1,500 people, 85% of which were Guinean nationals and over half from local communities. This marks a significant milestone for the Corporation, demonstrating its commitment to investing across Africa and providing employment and sustainable economic growth for those who need it most. 

Creating a net-positive impact on the surrounding communities formed a key tenet to the development goals of the project. To date, 40 community projects have been completed, including small infrastructure projects that focused on power, water and waste management. Long lasting livelihood projects have also played an important aspect for developing the local economy. The creation of a local development fund has been instrumental in supporting improvements to farming practices that enhance product yields.
 
477a859f-4c3e-485a-bf4a-8701cd1a0362.jpgOliver Andrews, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer of AFC commented: 
"The scale of African demand for financing infrastructure investment and maintenance is high. Traditional sources of public financing and weakened economic conditions in many regions of the world including those ravaged by Ebola, have magnified the need for private capital. AFC was established to meet this need by investing in infrastructure assets. I am delighted to announce the timely and safe completion of construction of the Bel Air Mine and associated transport infrastructure, including the first sea port to be built offshore West Africa in the last two decades, which brings with it not only employment opportunities but also much-needed connections with international markets that will support sustainable growth for Guinea's mining industry.

Critically, a great deal of importance has been placed on developing a sustainable legacy and there has been significant engagement with the communities - which included over 2,000 meetings held throughout the construction phase - to ensure delivery of effective social and environmental initiatives. To date, 40 voluntary community projects have been completed, in addition to initiatives that will support local economies and provide sustainable development, employment and income generation, that will endure beyond the mine's lifetime."

Bernie Pryor, CEO of Alufer Mining commented:
"AFC has been an integral partner in the success of the Bel Air Mine, forming an important component of not only the eventual financing of the project, but also contributing to the sustainable approach to which the project was to be delivered. We look forward to working closely with AFC to deliver substantial returns for all of our stakeholders and creating a positive and lasting legacy for the people of Guinea."

Notes to Editors

About AFC - www.africafc.org

AFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1billion, to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. With a current balance sheet size of approximately US$4.2 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody's Investors Service. AFC successfully raised US$750 million in 2015 and US$500 million in 2017; out of its Board-approved US$3 billion Global Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme. Both Eurobond issues were oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA. 

AFC's investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital to address Africa's infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth. AFC invests in high quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. To date, the Corporation has invested approximately US$4 billion in projects within 28 countries across North, East, West and
Southern Africa.

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