Iron ore extraction is scheduled to begin in 2025

One of the world’s largest iron ore deposits, Simandou, in Guinea, West Africa, is 30-40% ready for launch. The first volumes of raw materials are expected to be produced next year. This was stated by Samuel Gahigi, CEO of Rio Tinto Guinea, Kallanish reports.

According to him, 30-35% of the project’s necessary infrastructure has already been completed, and the construction of railways has reached about 30-40%.

“There is no doubt that the project will be implemented on schedule by the end of December 2025,” said Samuel Gahigi.

Еhe Simandou field has reserves of 4.41 billion tons of iron ore in four areas. The project’s initial production capacity will be 120 million tons of ore per year. WCS owns the northern part of the mine (blocks 1 and 2), where China Baowu will be the main player in the development of the deposit. The other two blocks are owned by Rio Tinto through its Simfer joint venture with China’s Chalco Iron Ore Holdings and the government of Guinea.

The project is progressing slowly due to infrastructure construction. In 2022, the government of Guinea, Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS), and Rio Tinto Simfer established La Compagnie du TransGuinéen (CTG) to jointly build rail and port infrastructure. Simfer and WCS each hold 42.5% of the shares, while the state of Guinea holds 15%.

According to Gahigi, Simandou could increase Guinea’s GDP by 50%, as it is estimated that the country will receive an additional $2-3 billion from the project starting in 2030.

In April, the shareholders of Simandou, one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits, signed a $15 billion financing agreement for the iron ore project. The funds will be used to develop railway and port infrastructure.