(Reuters) - Guinea-focused bauxite miner Alufer Mining plans to invest $400 million to develop its Bel Air bauxite project in the Boffa region of the west African state, documents submitted by the company to the country's mines ministry showed on Monday.
Alufer said in the documents seen by Reuters that it has mining exploration permits in the Boffa, Labe and Kindia regions of Guinea with a combined potential reserve of over 3 billion tonnes of the aluminium ore.
"A pre-feasibility study was completed in Bel Air in late 2011 and the company plans to build a mine with a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year by 2014," the document said.
"To date, Alufer has invested $22 million in the project. The company intends to invest $400 million to develop the mine," the document said.
Guinea, the world's top bauxite exporter, is planning to review all mining contracts to ensure mining firms comply with its recently revised mining code. The country, which also has significant iron ore and gold reserves, relies on minerals for more than 70 percent of its exports.
Two officials of Guinea's mines ministry said Alufer's project had been submitted to the government, but it was unclear whether the exploitation phase of the project would begin in 2014 as planned by the company.
"Alufer has presented a pre-feasibility study which we appreciate, but we have found it incomplete. We are waiting for further information before deciding," Saadou Nimaga, a counsel to the Guinean mines minister told Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Alufer said it was cooperating with Guinea's government and reiterated a June 1 statement in which it said it was on track for first bauxite production in late 2013 or early 2014.
Guernsey-registered Alufer, said in the statement that it had raised $12 million via private placement with new investors after it postponed a planned listing on the London alternative AIM board due to adverse market conditions.
Alufer is chaired by Adonis Pouroulis, the founder of listed Petra Diamonds.