Simandou receives board approval: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto’s board of directors has approved the “world’s biggest mining project” in West Africa, reported the Financial Times. The miner will invest $6.2 billion in the mine, rail and port project in Guinea.

The Simandou project, which involves the construction of a 552,000-kilometer rail line, is being progressed in partnership with CIOH, a Chinalco-led consortium, Winning Consortium Simandou, Baowu and the Republic of Guinea.

Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm told the Financial Times that tunnels along the rail corridor had already been prepared and materials ordered. He hopes that the company will start to produce iron ore from the project as soon as 2025, although its state-owned Chinese partners are still waiting on final investment approval from Beijing.

Simandou is the world’s largest untapped high-grade iron ore deposit. Its mining concession is divided into four blocks, in which Rio Tinto holds the rights to blocks 3 and 4 through Rio Tinto Simfer – a joint venture between the miner, CIOH and the government of Guinea. WCS and the government of Guinea are developing blocks 1 and 2.

Sources: Financial Times and Rio Tinto

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