Russian aluminum giant Rusal is in talks with the government of Sierra Leone to secure a bauxite mining concession, according to the country’s Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Julius Mattai.

Mattai, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, revealed that discussions with Rusal have been ongoing for some time, with the company expressing strong interest in developing a bauxite mine in Sierra Leone.

The move comes as no surprise, with Rusal already a major player in the aluminium industry, particularly in neighboring Guinea. Bauxite, the raw material for aluminum production, is a key component in various industries, including construction and packaging.

While negotiations are still underway, a successful deal could significantly bolster Sierra Leone’s mining sector and solidify Rusal’s position in the global bauxite market.