Bauxite mining companies have resumed normal operations in Guinea’s Boke region as local authorities try to negotiate a definitive end to unrest that has disrupted production for more than a week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Riots have gripped Boke and surrounding towns several times this year as angry youths have pillaged police posts and blocked trains and railroads to protest against electricity cuts and a lack of jobs and services.
Mining companies have had to stop and start operations repeatedly over the past week.
“All mining operations are continuing normally since the end of last week,” said an official at the state agency for the development of mining infrastructure, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“This afternoon there will be a meeting between the protest leaders and local authorities to find a definitive solution to these problems,” he added.
The area is home to two major companies that each produce about 15 million tonnes of the aluminum ore bauxite annually, together making up nearly all of Guinea’s production.
The Compagnie des Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) is back to normal production capacity after having tentatively resumed operations on Friday when riots died down, said a CBG official, who asked to remain unnamed.
CBG is 49 percent owned by the Guinean state and the remainder by Alcoa, Rio Tinto Alcan and Dadco. SMB is owned by Guinea, China’s Winning Shipping Ltd, Shandong Weiqiao and UMS International Ltd.