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Guinean bauxite miners resume normal operations following political protests

Bauxite miners in Guinea resumed full operations after recent political demonstrations impacted production, Reuters reported Oct. 17, citing mine officials.

At least nine people were killed this week during protests against a possible constitutional change that may allow President Alpha Conde to run for a third term, the newswire said.

A Guinea Bauxite Co. spokesman told Reuters that the protests caused production to slow down by 2.5 days. Typical losses from a one-day stoppage are worth about US$1 million, he said.

The spokesman added that a train carrying bauxite to United Co. Rusal PLC and Guinea Alumina Corp. SA had been unable to run. The two companies were not immediately available for comment, Reuters said. Trucks had also been blocked, according to the report, citing Frederic Bouzigues, director-general of Societe Miniere de Boké.

In April, Conde gained authority over state miner Societe Guinneenne du Patrimoine Minier, giving him control of the country's bauxite deposits.

In November 2018, Societe Miniere and Singapore's Winning Shipping signed a deal with the Guinean government to build the country's first alumina refinery, part of a US$3 billion project to develop the West African nation's bauxite industry, which is the largest on the continent.