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Let’s look back at Colas Rail’s first major mining adventure in Guinea-Conakry

In detail




Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC)

Areas of expertise


Colas Rail built a siding dedicated to the operation of a bauxite mine at Tinguilinta in the Republic of Guinea.

Guinea, rich in its still largely unexploited mining potential, holds a third of the world’s bauxite reserves. To develop its production, the Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), a Guinean subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), has entrusted the Colas group with the construction of infrastructures dedicated to the exploitation of the Tinguilinta bauxite mine. In this context, Colas Africa and Colas Projects participated in the construction of a storage platform, five bridges, one of which is 200m long over an arm of the sea, as well as access roads to the mining site.

More than 300 machines – bulldozers, compactors, graders, crushing equipment and hydraulic shovels – were mobilized on site. To carry out this project, 1,200 people worked on this site, 80% of whom were Guineans hired locally and trained by Colas executives from Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, the Maghreb and France. Apart from Colas Africa and Colas Projects, several group subsidiaries have participated in this project, notably SPAC and of course Colas Rail.

The GAC entrusted Colas Rail with the design, supply, construction and commissioning of an 18km railway: 10km at the Kamsar port site and 8km at Tinguilinta. This is the equivalent of 75,000 tonnes of ballast and 14,500 tonnes of miscellaneous equipment that was transported to the site. The concrete sleepers were shipped from Portugal, the 22 switches came from South Africa, and France supplied 1,800 tonnes of rails.

This major mining project started in October 2016 and was finished in April 2019.

The infrastructure made it possible to run 1,500-meter-long trains pulling 120 wagons and making it possible to transport 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year for the benefit of GAC. This large-scale project represented a real human and technical challenge that we are proud to have met. It was also a great opportunity for Colas Rail Morocco to show its export know-how, notably thanks to the excellent work of its welders and crews.


Key figures:

  • 1,800 tonnes of rails
  • 28,000 tonnes of sleepers
  • 18km of railway laid by Colas Rail