The Simandou Project is currently the largest planned integrated mining and infrastructure development contemplated in Africa, with an expansive scope representing integrated mine, rail, port and ancillary infrastructure.
Simandou provides Rio Tinto access to one of the world’s largest untapped high-grade iron ore resources, and is expected to sustain a mine life in excess of 40 years.
The Project has the potential to transform the Guinean economy and bolster the West African nation’s global competitiveness as an attractive and stable investment destination.
The Simandou Project includes three key components which are:
- The Mine: An iron ore exploration and mining project located towards the southern end of the 110-kilometre-long Simandou mountain range, 550 kilometres southeast of Guinea’s capital city Conakry. It is one of the largest undeveloped high grade iron ore deposits in the world, it is to be a conventional open pit mine with an expected capacity of 100 million metric tonnes of iron ore per annum.
- The Infrastructure: Includes a new 650-kilometre trans-Guinean railway line to transport iron ore from the Simandou mine to a new deep-sea port, located south of Conakry on the Morebaya River. Both rail and port will be available for use by third parties, on prescribed terms.
- Ancillary infrastructure: Access roads, accommodation, power generation and water systems to directly support the Simandou Project.
The Simandou iron ore mine will be developed and operated by Simfer S.A., a joint-venture ultimately owned by the Government of Guinea (7.5 per cent), Rio Tinto (46.6 per cent), a consortium of Chinese State-owned enterprises lead by Chinalco (41.3 per cent), and the International Finance Corporation (4.6 per cent), which is the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group.
Simfer S.A. is the holder of the Simandou South mining concession (blocks 3 and 4) located in southeastern Guinea.
A third-party Infrastructure Consortium will fund, build and own multi-purpose, multi-user rail and port infrastructure. Rio Tinto’s investment will be in the mine only, and as such, will not be an investor in the Infrastructure Consortium.