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October 31, 2005
Halco and Government of Guinea Announce Agreement Regarding Bauxite Rights; Agreement a Watershed To Spur Growth of Alumina Refining in Guinea
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 2005--Halco (Mining) Inc. ("Halco") and the Government of the Republic of Guinea announced today that they have reached an agreement regarding bauxite rights in accordance with the Basic Agreement of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), enabling growth in the alumina refining industry in Guinea.
Halco owns 51 percent of CBG, which mines bauxite in the Boke region of the Republic of Guinea. The Government is Halco's partner in CBG. Alcan Inc. (NYSE:AL) (45%), Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (NYSE:AA) (45%) and Dadco Investments Limited (10%) are the shareholders of Halco. CBG has exclusive rights through 2038 to bauxite reserves and resources in northwestern Guinea (CBG Lease).
Under the agreement, the Government, CBG and Global Alumina will execute a three-party agreement containing acceptable terms allowing the granting of mining rights in an agreed upon part of the Initial Territory to Global Alumina. The technical experts of CBG, Halco and the Government will meet to recommend the granting of additional mining titles for 2 billion tons of bauxite reserves to CBG of agreed upon quality. These additional mining titles will (i) compensate CBG for the bauxite reserves granted to Global Alumina, and (ii) provide additional tonnage to CBG for its long term needs in areas outside of CBG's Initial Territory, in accordance with the Basic Agreement, as amended. This additional tonnage will provide significant bauxite resources for current export and future in-country refining needs.
Other key elements include:
1. The three-party agreement, and the agreement on the granting of the additional CBG mining titles shall be finalized not later than November 15, 2005. Upon this agreement, the Government of the Republic of Guinea will issue its decrees with respect to the CBG and Global mining rights not later than November 30, 2005.
2. The discussions confirmed that CBG shall continue to manage the rail, port and other infrastructure provided in the CBG-ANAIM Concession Agreement. CBG, the Government of Guinea and Global Alumina shall engage in negotiations with respect to future infrastructure usage.
3. The parties recognized that the conclusions of this meeting demonstrate the strength of the partnership between the Government of the Republic of Guinea and Halco Mining, Inc. and the desire of all parties to work together for the long term success of their partnership.
On the occasion, Dr. Ahmed Tidjane Souaré, Minister of Mines and Geology of the Republic of Guinea, stated, "This agreement is a sign of the spirit of consensus which has always driven both parties in resolving their difficulties. Discussions were long and thorough, but were always guided by the spirit of a healthy and dynamic partnership.
"The results obtained are a key which, from now on, greatly opens the prospects of rapid development in the bauxite/alumina/aluminum industry of the Republic of Guinea. It was the will of the Guinean Government, which is in line with the policies of his Excellency the President of the Republic, General Lansana Conté," he added.
"We greatly value the mutually-beneficial relationship that we have shared with the Republic of Guinea for more than 40 years and we strongly support the development of alumina refineries and other industrial projects within the country," said Jean-Philippe Puig, Chairman of Halco's Board of Directors. "It is in light of this that we offer our proposal aimed at satisfying the legitimate needs of all concerned parties," he added.
"With this Tripartite Agreement, CBG would control sufficient bauxite resources to satisfy the needs of its current and future customers, both for export and for the supply of local refineries," said Jean-Philippe Puig. "This would help to enable the long term success of the company as well as the development of the Republic of Guinea," he added.
Note to Editors: There should be an accent over the first "e" in "Guinée." There should also be an accent over the "e" in "Souaré" and "Conté."