By Emmanuel Tumanjong

Special to Dow Jones Newswires


A Rio Tinto PLC subsidiary has agreed to enter a joint venture with the government of Guinea and China-backed consortium Winning Consortium Simandou to develop infrastructure for the West African nation's huge Simandou iron-ore deposit.

Guinea-based railroad manufacturing company Rio Tinto Simfer will co-develop railway and seaport infrastructure serving Simandou, which is among the world's largest undeveloped, rich deposits of iron ore--the main ingredient in steel--and has the potential to reshape the global market, which has traditionally been dominated by exports from Australia and Brazil.

The WCS consortium is 45% owned by Singapore's Winning International Group, while China Hongqiao Group Ltd. owns 35%.

"The signing of this agreement highlights the importance of the Simandou deposits in today's decarbonizing world. Its development will complement the solid ore portfolio of Rio Tinto's iron," Bold Baatar, chief executive of Rio Tinto Copper said in a statement Wednesday.

The agreement paves the way for the joint venture, named Compagnie du TransGuineen, to construct a 416-mile railroad to link the mining corridor to a mineral port on the Guinean coast in the south of Conakry. The infrastructure project is scheduled to complete by December 2024, while the first commercial output of minerals is expected by March 2025.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2022 08:14 ET (12:14 GMT)

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