The government of Guinea has entered into fresh agreements to construct a port and railway infrastructure to cater to the vast Simandou iron deposit, as disclosed by one of the companies involved in the project.
Anglo-Australian mining corporation Rio Tinto Simfer and the Chinese consortium Winning Consortium Simandou have been commissioned to exploit the expansive iron deposit located in southeastern Guinea, recognized as one of the planet’s largest.
The entities have reached an accord to construct a 670-kilometer (416-mile) railway, linking the mining corridor to a port located to the south of the capital city, Conakry.
“Signing these (new) agreements is a decisive step, establishing a comprehensive framework for the major infrastructure of the Simandou project,” Rio Tinto Simfer said in a press release dated Thursday.
“Establishing infrastructure will facilitate the export of iron ore and the transport of passengers (and) goods,” the statement said.
The project is set to be finalized by December 2024 and is anticipated to generate numerous direct employment opportunities, numbering in the thousands.
Conflicts regarding mining privileges and allegations of corruption have led to prolonged delays in the utilization of the site for years.
Insufficient infrastructure in the landlocked area has also presented a hurdle.
Since taking control in September 2021, the leader of Guinea’s ruling junta has emphasized the significance of the Simandou project as a primary objective.