Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto has approved $US170 million of additional funding for work to be done on mine, rail and port infrastructure for the Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea. This investment comes on top of $US650 million already spent on exploration, community development and evaluation studies.
Current plans foresee the construction of the mine at Simandou with an annual capacity of 95mt, a 650km dedicated industrial railway passing through 21km of tunnels traversing Guinea to the coast, a rail-wagon dumping facility and a four-berth wharf located 11km offshore from Matakong.
Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh confirms that Simandou will be the largest integrated iron-ore mine and infrastructure project ever developed in Africa. “The company’s experience and expertise in developing large-scale iron-ore projects will enable us to bring this complex project on stream. This follows the signing of an agreement with Chinese company, Chinalco, in terms of which a joint venture to develop and operate the Simandou iron-ore project will be established. We expect to start mining operations within five years,” Walsh explained.
Rio Tinto and Chinalco are determined to make rapid progress – they are working with all stakeholders to expedite the process in consultation with the Guinean government.