The Simandou iron ore project in Guinea has received a $US100 million boost from major miner Rio Tinto.
The funding is set to go toward building the railways and ports for the project.
Rio is part of the Simfer joint venture, which is owned by Rio Tinto (53 per cent), Chalco Iron Ore Holdings (47 per cent), Baowu (20 per cent), China Rail Construction Corporation (2.5 per cent) and China Harbour Engineering Company (2.5 per cent). The major miner is set to mine iron in the Simandou region through this joint venture.
According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Rio Tinto gave the $US100 million loan individually to fund the rail and port construction until a final feasibility study is conducted.
In a LinkedIn post, acting general director of Rio Tinto in Guinea Samuel Gahigi said the funding marks a significant step forward for the development of the Simandou project infrastructure.
“We are proud of the progress we have made together over the past six months: completing enabling works, constructing new camps, recruiting a skilled workforce and, more recently, starting permanent construction works,” Gahigi said in the post.
“Through this agreement, Rio Tinto will provide $100m of interim funding to WCS to finance its construction programme, demonstrating our total commitment to the Simandou project – and to our partners.
“Guinea recently entered the group of middle-income countries. It is a country with incredible potential: its human potential, agricultural potential thanks to its rainfall, and of course the potential that lies within the Simandou mountain range.
“We are honoured to be part in this new chapter of Guinea’s history and we are determined to deliver the Simandou project for the people of Guinea.”