Guinea and Rio Tinto sign Simandou mine development agreement

Seetao 2022-03-29 15:26
  • The Simandou iron ore project is touted as one of the largest undeveloped high-grade iron deposits in the world
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Guinea's ruling military junta Rio Tinto and a Chinese-backed consortium have reached an agreement to resume development of the West African country's Simandou iron ore mine. Mines Minister Moussa Magassouba said the infrastructure dispute was resolved by all parties paving the way for an agreement.

The agreement primarily involves laying a 670-kilometer railway from the project site to the new deep-water port. Magassouba said the plan would cost nearly $15 billion. The state TV minister said the government had signed a framework agreement with project participants Rio Tinto, Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) and the China-backed SMB-Winning consortium.

The minister added that the infrastructure project is expected to be completed by December 2024 and commercial production is scheduled to start on March 31, 2025. Once fully operational, Simandou is expected to produce 100 million tonnes of iron ore per year. Magassouba also said that the Guinean government has negotiated and secured a 15% stake each in the railway, port and mine. The new infrastructure that is part of the project will become the property of the Guinean state upon completion. Keywords: engineering construction, engineering news

Rio Tinto Copper head Bold Baatar said: "The framework clearly outlines the key principles for the joint development of infrastructure by all parties and sets out how the project will be constructed to meet international environmental, social and governance standards." The agreement is The deal came days after the military junta ordered Rio to fully suspend activities at the project, with interim president Mamady Doumbouya saying it was unclear how the mine would safeguard the country's interests.Editor/XingWentao