5 Oct 2009 12:03

Guinea delegation to visit Moscow, discuss Rusal situation

MOSCOW. Oct 5 (Interfax) - A Guinea delegation will visit Moscow on October 5-7 to attend a meeting of the bilateral intergovernmental commission.

"The commission will discuss economic cooperation. Naturally, we will touch upon the Guinea nationalization of the Friguia bauxite and alumina complex that belongs to Rusal," a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax.

Minister for Cooperation and African Integration Diallo Djenabou Saifou will lead the Guinea delegation. He is the Guinea cochairman of the intergovernmental commission. The Russian cochair is Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Yuri Trutnev.

This April, Guinea President Moussa Dadis Camara, the head of the military regime that took power after a revolt, ordered his justice minister to open a criminal case over Rusal's purchase of Friguia in 2006. In the opinion of the new Guinea government, the country received less than the actual cost of the plant. Camara said that Rusal paid $19 million although consultants he did not name evaluated the plant cost at $257 million. The Conakry court invalidated the deal in September.

Rusal challenged the court judgment and started to prepare for lodging a lawsuit with international arbitration in Paris. The deal is regulated with French laws.

Rusal, the world's largest producer of aluminum, has invested $300 million in the purchase and modernization of Friguia, which annually produces 1.9 million tonnes of bauxites. Also, Rusal operates the Kindia bauxite company.

Guinea receives 80% of export money from bauxites. The produce stood at 14 million tonnes in 2007.