By Rhiannon Hoyle

 

Rio Tinto on Friday said agreements have been reached between companies seeking to develop the giant Simandou iron-ore project and the government of Guinea on the trans-Guinean infrastructure needed to export the steelmaking ingredient.

Rio Tinto said the Simfer joint venture, which is developing blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou project, has finalized key agreements with the Winning Consortium Simandou or WCS, which is developing blocks 1 and 2, and Guinea's government for the joint development of port facilities and roughly 370 miles of new railway.

"With these agreements we have reached an important milestone towards full sanction of the Simandou project," said Rio Tinto Executive Committee lead for Guinea and Copper Chief Executive Bold Baatar.

Negotiations are continuing between the partners to finalize investment and shareholder agreements that underpin the joint development, Rio Tinto said.

Simandou is among the world's largest undeveloped, rich deposits of iron ore and has the potential to reshape the global market, which has long been dominated by exports from Australia and Brazil.

The Simfer joint venture comprises Rio Tinto, the government of Guinea and a Chinalco-led joint venture of Chinese state-owned entities. WCS is a consortium between Winning International Group, China Hongqiao Group and United Mining Suppliers.

 

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 11, 2023 03:14 ET (07:14 GMT)

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