Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest producer of the metal in the Middle East, said on Wednesday its bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea reached 50 per cent completion.
First exports from the African mine, which EGA fully acquired in 2013, are expected during the second half of 2019, the company said.
The facility is expected to produce around 12 million tonnes of bauxite, which is used to produce alumina, which is then converted into aluminium.
EGA, one of the UAE's largest industrial companies, is executing the project at a budgeted cost of around $1.4 billion, with US contractor Fluor undertaking management of contracts worth $700 million.
Guinea has around a quarter of the world's bauxite resources, making it one of the highest reserves globally. The country is also a supplier for EGA's upcoming Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi.
EGA received its first-ever shipment of bauxite on Sunday from the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, with whom the producer has an offtake-agreement. The ore will be stockpiled for use in the two million-tonne capacity Al Taweelah refinery, which is set to export its first alumina in 2019. The facility is being built at a total budgeted cost of around $3.3bn and is currently 82 per cent complete. Once operating, the refinery is expected to meet around 40 per cent of EGA's alumina requirements.
The Middle East is home to a sizeable aluminium industry, which some of the oil-rich countries in the region have developed as part of their drive to create a substantial manufacturing base and an alternative to hydrocarbons-based economies.