Agreements reached on trans-Guinean infrastructure in milestone for Simandou iron ore project

16 August 2023

Rio Tinto and the Simfer1 joint venture (Simfer) have achieved a significant milestone today by finalizing crucial agreements with the Republic of Guinea and Winning Consortium Simandou2 (WCS) regarding the trans-Guinean infrastructure for the world-class Simandou iron ore project.

The Co-Development Convention, along with associated agreements that modify Simfer and WCS's existing mine conventions, establish the legal framework for jointly developing over 600 kilometers of new multi-purpose railway lines and port facilities. These infrastructure assets will be utilized to export iron ore extracted from the Simandou mining concessions situated in the southeastern region of Guinea.

Bold Baatar, Rio Tinto Executive Committee lead for Guinea and Copper Chief Executive, remarked, "These agreements represent a significant step towards obtaining full approval for the Simandou project. By harnessing the collective strengths and expertise of Rio Tinto, the Government of Guinea, and Winning Consortium Simandou, we are poised to unlock the potential of this world-class resource. Simandou, which holds the distinction of being the largest known undeveloped source of high-grade, low-impurity iron ore, will enhance Rio Tinto's portfolio by complementing our existing Pilbara and Iron Ore Company of Canada products."

The costs and capacity of the infrastructure will be evenly shared between Simfer, responsible for the development of blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou project, and WCS, tasked with the development of blocks 1 and 2. Additionally, China Baowu Steel Group has entered into a term sheet agreement with WCS that has the potential to involve them in the WCS scope for blocks 1 and 2 of the Simandou mining concession and the infrastructure joint venture.

The implementation of the Co-Development Convention requires approval from the Guinean State and is contingent upon several conditions, including the state's endorsement of the final feasibility study for the project. Ongoing negotiations among the partners are focused on finalizing the investment agreements and related shareholders' agreements that underpin the collaborative development effort. Further announcements will be made when appropriate regarding these agreements.