CONAKRY May 16 (Reuters) – A railway occupation by former employees of Guinea’s state bauxite company CBG, a joint venture with Alcoa and Rio Tinto, is starving its factory of ore supplies for processing, senior company officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
“It has prevented us from supplying the factory since Monday,” said one official who requested anonymity of the blockade of rails leading to its factory 300 km (200 miles) northwest of the capital Conakry.
“Normally there are five shuttles a day to transport around 50,000 tonnes a day. It is this system which is paralysed by this strike.”
Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of the ore which is the main source of aluminium. CBG has an annual production of 13.5 million tonnes.
A second source at the company said it was already running out of stocks to load onto boats for export. The CBG factory is responsible for around 80 percent of the sector’s revenues.
The former employees were protesting over what they said was a failure to pay quarterly pensions of around $120. The CBG officials said the company had already transferred funds to cover their pensions to the Guinean state welfare, who was charged with ensuring the employees then got paid.