ESG

Simandou infrastructure joint venture formalised

RIO Tinto has announced the formation of a joint venture company to progress the massive Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

The Simandou camp in Guinea

The Simandou camp in Guinea

Rio, Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) and the Guinean government have incorporated La Compagnie du TransGuinéen (The TransGuinean Company) to further progress plans to co-develop the multi-purpose and multi-user infrastructure for the project.

Rio and WCS will each hold 42.5% of La Compagnie du TransGuinéen, while the government will have a 15% free-carried interest.

It comes after a framework agreement was signed in March.

The parties will now work on next steps including shareholding agreement, finalising cost estimates and funding, and securing all necessary approvals and other permits and agreements required to progress the co-development of infrastructures, which includes 600km of rail.

Rio Copper chief executive Bold Baatar, who also oversees Simandou, said the Simandou development would complement the company's Pilbara iron ore portfolio.

"It is also a very important moment for Guinea and for Guineans, for whom the project's southern infrastructure corridor has the potential to bring significant benefits for regional economic development by leveraging international project and ESG standards," he said.

WCS, a consortium of Singaporean company, Winning International Group (45%), Weiqiao Aluminium (35%) and United Mining Suppliers International (20%), holds 85% of Simandou North block 1-2.

Simandou South block 3-4 is 85%-held by Simfer Jersey, a JV between the Rio (53%) and Chinese consortium Chalco Iron Ore Holdings (47%).

The Guinea government holds a 15% free-carried interest in all four blocks.

"Our country remains open to all responsible and serious mining investment that will help support the sustainable development of our economy and, in turn, is committed to maintaining a stable and calm business climate," Djiba Diakité, chairman of the strategic committee of the Simandou project and minister director of the Office of the Presidency of the Republic said.

Blocks 3-4 alone could produce as much as 95 million tonnes per annum of high-grade iron ore.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining News Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining News Intelligence team.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Investor Sentiment Report 2024

Survey revealing the plans, priorities, and preferences of 120+ mining investors and their expectations for the sector in 2024.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Mining Equities Report 2023

Access an exclusive, inside look on the quarterly mining IPOs and secondary raisings data and mining equities performance tables with an annual Stock Exchange Comparisons supplement.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence World Risk Report 2023 (feat. MineHutte ratings)

A detailed analysis of mining investment risks across 121 jurisdictions globally, built on 11 ‘hard risk’ metrics and an industrywide survey.

editions

Mining Journal Intelligence Global Leadership Report 2023: Social licence

Gain insights into social licence trends and best practices from interviews with 20+ top mining company executives and an industrywide survey.