Iron ore, Mining services, News, Project approval, Rio Tinto

Simandou project reaches key milestone

Rio Tinto simandou

Rio Tinto and its Simfer joint venture (JV) partners have determined key agreements with the Republic of Guinea and Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) on the trans-Guinean infrastructure for the Simandou project.

The Simandou project is the largest and richest untapped high-grade iron ore deposit in the world. It is located in the Simandou mountain range of southern Guinea’s Nzérékoré region.

Rio Tinto is the majority shareholder of the project, as well as the managing partner of the Simfer JV, which is a JV between Rio Tinto, Chalco Iron Ore Holdings, and the Government of the Republic of Guinea.

The Simandou project’s mining concession is divided into four blocks. Rio Tinto Simfer is developing blocks three and four and the Guinea Government and WCS are developing blocks one and two.

The agreements reached by the parties have now created a legal framework for the co-development of more than 600 kilometres of a new multi-use rail line, with port facilities that will be used to export iron ore from the Simandou mining concessions.

The infrastructure capacity and associated cost will be shared equally between Simfer and WCS.

“With these agreements we have reached an important milestone towards full sanction of the Simandou project, bringing together the complementary strengths and expertise of Rio Tinto and our partners, the Government of Guinea and WCS, for the infrastructure that will unlock this world class resource,” Rio Tinto executive committee lead for Guinea Bold Baatar said.

“Simandou, the world’s largest known undeveloped supply of high-grade, low-impurity iron ore, will strengthen Rio Tinto’s portfolio by complementing our existing Pilbara and iron ore company of Canada products.”

The co-development convention requires ratification by the Guinean State and will be subject to several conditions, such as the Guinean State’s approval of the final feasibility study for the project.

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