Société Minière de Boké (SMB)

Founded in 2014, Société Minière de Boké has been one of the great revelations of the Guinean bauxite mining sector. Having started production a year after its foundation, it ranks as Guinea's No. 1 bauxite producer and exporter, with 36,381,407 tons of bauxite produced in 2022.

Headquartered in Conakry, SMB operates in the Boké region, with sites at Malapouya and Dabiss (in the Boké prefecture) and Santou and Houda (in the Télimélé prefecture). Bauxite is extracted from these sites, and transported by truck (for the Boké sites) and train (for the Télimélé sites) to the river ports of Katougouma and Dapilon (Boké prefecture). From these ports, the bauxite is transported by barge to ships anchored on the high seas for shipment to the final destination (China).

A boost for bauxite production in Guinea

Although Guinean bauxite production dates back mainly to the 1970s, with the start-up of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), it was only with the arrival of SMB that the country saw its prodcution soar to 103,525,513 tons of bauxite produced in 2022. SMB alone accounts for 36,381,407 tons of this production.

To achieve this performance, the company invested in the entire bauxite production value chain, building two river ports (Katougouma and Dapilon) and a railroad linking its Santou and Houda sites, located in the Télimélé prefecture. Construction of the railroad required substantial funding, estimated at over one billion US dollars. It covers a distance of around 125 kilometers, and includes 21 bridges, 2 tunnels and 6 stockpiles. It took less than 3 years to build these infrastructures, despite the COVID-19 induced restrictions.

A company that employs and supports local development

The company, headed by Frédéric Bouzigues since April 2015, employs over 1,700 people, although it has often recorded social upheavals due to demands emanating from its employees and surrounding communities. Its shareholders are:

Winning Shipping Group
China HONGQIAO Group
UMS International Group
and the Guinean State (which holds 10% of the shares under Guinean law).

To support local development initiatives, in 2016 the consortium created its foundation, the SMB - Winning Foundation, which is committed to promoting and supporting cultural actions. It has broadened its scope to include other areas, such as health, education and sport with, in particular, its Foot for Change project that supports young girls wishing to practice sport while studying.

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