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22/06/2024
Mining News

Guinea’s Simandou iron ore project secures $15 billion financing for essential infrastructure development

According to a report from Bloomberg, shareholders of the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea have recently signed financing agreements totaling $15 billion. This significant financial commitment is specifically designated for the development of crucial rail and port infrastructure, essential for the project’s progress.

Part of the funding will also bolster Compagnie du Trans-Guinéen, a joint venture in which the Guinean Government holds a 15% stake. The remaining ownership is evenly split between a consortium led by Rio Tinto and the China-backed Winning Consortium Simandou, each holding 42.5%.

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These infrastructure upgrades are deemed essential for advancing the project’s development. The signing of these agreements follows approvals from Guinea’s transitional parliament and Chinese regulatory authorities, as confirmed by a statement from Guinea’s presidency shared on the social media platform X.

Head of the strategic committee, Djiba Diakite, expressed confidence in the project’s progress, stating, “Simandou is no longer a dream but a reality.” He further assured that the project is on track for completion by the end of December 2025.

The Simandou iron ore project is known to hold one of the world’s largest untapped reserves. Earlier this year, in February, the National Transition Council of Guinea approved a joint development agreement for the project, marking a significant step forward.

Despite facing challenges such as a complex ownership structure, legal disputes, political changes in Guinea, and construction difficulties, the recent ratification signals significant progress towards the project’s anticipated completion. According to Mory Dounoh, spokesperson for the council, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Rio Tinto, in partnership with China’s Chalco Iron Ore Holdings and the Guinean Government through its Simfer JV, controls two of the four mining blocks within the Simandou range.”

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