MIGA provided a $40 million guarantee to Guinea Investment Company Ltd. for its investment in Alumina Company of Guinea Ltd. MIGA also provided a guarantee to Banque Belgolaise, Rand Merchant Bank, and West LB for their loans to that company. The guarantees are protecting the investments against the risks of war, civil disturbance, and breach of contract. Another $40 million in coverage is provided through the Cooperative Underwriting Program. The project includes a bauxite mine, an alumina plant, captive electricity and water utilities, and a 144-kilometer railway linking the project site to the Conakry port.
Alumina Company of Guinea is one of Guinea's major mining projects and the only alumina-producing facility in Africa. It will service $27 million of Guinea's government-guaranteed external debt in the first five years and generate more than $100 million in export revenues annually. The operation is the main employer (about 2,000 employees) in Fria, a town of about 70,000 people that was created around the plant. Residents of Fria depend on the mine and production operations for their supply of potable water, electricity, and medical assistance. Moreover, the project supplies housing to employees and their dependents, a locally staffed hospital, and other important social benefits, such as roads and schools, and extensive employee training. Almost a quarter of goods and services will be procured locally. This is MIGA's second project in Guinea, an IDA-eligible country.