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Lindian bauxite gains attention, sales deal looms

Updated: May 2

Lindian Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée. Credit: File.

Lindian Resources has moved to commercialise its Gaoual bauxite project in Guinea by inking a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a possible sales contract with prominent miner Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG).

As part of the deal, Lindian has committed to completing a feasibility study for its 102-million-tonne deposit within two years, while the companies negotiate a possible sales contract for the high-aluminium oxide product.

CBG is a Guinean-focused bauxite miner and produces and exports more than 16 million tonnes of high-grade bauxite per year. The company is 49 per cent-owned by the Guinean State, with 51 per cent held by United States-registered Halco Mining and a consortium comprising of Rio Tinto-Alcan, Alcoa and Dadco Investments.

Management says the MOU provides the framework for the companies to explore methods of operating, processing and transporting ore from the Gaoual project to CBG’s infrastructure, in addition to assessing procurement, quantity and quality determination, selling prices, selling price adjustment mechanisms, penalties and bonuses and payments between the parties.

We are delighted to be collaborating with CBG to advance Gaoual. They have exceptional pedigree as one of the world’s most respected and largest bauxite producers and suppliers. We have been advancing discussions with them for a number of years on the potential development of Guinea’s next Conglomerate Bauxite project and this MOU marks a very meaningful step in this process. As one of Guinea’s most established bauxite producers with extensive mining operations and infrastructure access, a potential partnership delivers obvious benefits to all stakeholders, most importantly the local community and the government of Guinea. The MOU provides an excellent framework to rapidly advance Gaoual. Lindian Resources executive chairman Asimwe Kabunga.

The Gaoual project has a total indicated resource of 101.5 million tonnes at 49.8 per cent aluminium oxide, 83.8 million tonnes of which is a high-grade packet sitting at 51.2 per cent aluminium oxide. It sits close to major operating bauxite mining companies with significant infrastructure.

Screening testwork on the ore completed in 2021 confirmed that Gaoual high-grade samples showed the average alumina grade increased by 8.6 per cent and the average silica grade decreased by 71.4 per cent.

Gaoual’s deposit is known as a “conglomerate bauxite” and is one of only two of its kind in Guinea – the other being Sangaredi, which has been mined for 30 years by CBG, about 80km to the south-west.

Conglomerate bauxite deposits are ore bodies that have been transported by water over millions of years and often have a thick layering. They regularly have a much higher-grade aluminium oxide and that fact was likely to have helped attract CBG as it looks for a repeat of Sangaredi.

Lindian acquired the Gaoual project in April, 2019 and has moved quickly to mature the project, with today’s revelation a major milestone in the path towards commercialisation.

Gaoual is adjacent to world-class bauxite deposits such as Alliance Mining Commodities’ Koumbia bauxite project that is estimated to contain 2.2 billion tonnes, or about 2 per cent of the world’s bauxite. It is about 64km north-east of the Sangaredi Railway, which connects the project to the Kamsar Port, about 155 km to the west.

The news from Guinea is a deviation from the impressive set of announcements stemming from Lindian’s massive Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi that have dominated the company’s recent news flow.

Earlier this month, the company released a maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 261 million tonnes at a grade of 2.19 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) for Kangankunde, containing 5.7 million tonnes of rare earths.

Included in the MRE is a high percentage of critical metal elements and non-radioactive mineralisation, which positions the project among the world’s biggest rare earths deposits. Notably, management says its contained figure has 1.2 million tonnes of the key high-value critical mineral elements of neodymium and praseodymium.

It leaves Lindian well-placed to advance offtake discussions with multiple parties, in addition to pushing forward with plant construction in a bid to deliver first product next year. That makes it an exciting time for the Perth-based explorer, with more assays from Kangankunde due back this month.

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