Rio Tinto, a global mining company, has recently confirmed that key agreements have been reached between multiple stakeholders involved in the development of the Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea. These agreements are related to the crucial trans-Guinean infrastructure necessary for exporting the iron ore.
The Simfer joint venture, responsible for blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou project, has successfully finalized these agreements with the Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS), which is in charge of blocks 1 and 2. Additionally, the government of Guinea has also been a part of these negotiations. The agreements primarily focus on the joint development of port facilities and the construction of approximately 370 miles of new railway.
According to Bold Baatar, the Executive Committee lead for Guinea and Copper Chief Executive at Rio Tinto, these agreements mark a significant milestone towards the full sanctioning of the Simandou project. Negotiations are still ongoing between the partners to finalize investment and shareholder agreements, which will further solidify their commitment to the joint development.
Simandou houses one of the largest untapped iron ore deposits globally and has the potential to significantly impact the international market, which has traditionally been dominated by exports from Australia and Brazil.
The Simfer joint venture consists of Rio Tinto, the government of Guinea, and a consortium led by Chinalco, comprising various Chinese state-owned entities. WCS is a collaboration between Winning International Group, China Hongqiao Group, and United Mining Suppliers.