15 September 2011
Largest social and environmental impact assessment study (SEIA) ever undertaken in Guinea: Launch of the Stakeholder Engagement Consultation Process
Rio Tinto, through its subsidiary Simfer S.A. today announced the launch of the stakeholder engagement consultation process for the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), in relation to the Simandou Project (the Project).
Rio Tinto has commissioned the international consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to carry out an independent SEIA which will serve to guide the construction, operation and ensure that we responsibly manage our operations in the long term. The SEIA process provides a systematic framework within which the key environmental and socio-economic impacts of the project can be examined.
The purpose of the SEIA is to identify potential impacts the Project may have on the communities and natural environment. Once all of the impacts are identified, the final design of the Project can be tailored to maximise the beneficial impacts and to minimise or mitigate the adverse ones.
The Simandou Project includes three components:
- a 95 million tonne per year capacity iron ore mine in the Simandou mountain range in the south east of Guinea;
- a Trans-Guinean railway of approximately 650km to transport the ore from the mining concession to the Guinea coast for export; and
- a new deepwater port south of Conakry in the Forecariah prefecture.
On 19 September, a national workshop will be held in Conakry with national and international stakeholders in order to launch the stakeholder engagement consultation process.
Andrew Taplin, acting managing director, Rio Tinto Simfer said: "The SEIA is a very important step in the development of Simandou and, together with the Government of Guinea, we are committed to dialogue with stakeholders. The workshop is an opportunity for the main stakeholders to fully understand the project, engage in discussion and understand the issues and opportunities. ".
After the Conakry workshop, a series of public workshops are set to begin in the project relevant Prefectures during the months of September and October as follows:
|Forecariah||Forecariah Centre||Thursday 22 September 2011|
|Kindia||Kindia Centre||Tuesday 4 October 2011|
|Mamou||Mamou Centre||Thursday 29 September 2011|
|Faranah||Daranah Centre||Tuesday 27 September 2011|
|Kouroussa||Douako||Thursday 6 October 2011|
|Kankan||Tokonou||Tuesday 4 October 2011|
|Kissidougou||Albadaria||Wednesday 5 October 2011|
|Kerouane||Keoruane Centre||Tuesday 11 October 2011|
|Macenta||Macenta Centre||Thursday 29 September 2011|
|Beyla||Beyla Centre||Tuesday 27 September 2011|
Subsequent rounds of public workshops and ongoing consultation will also be held with the objective to respond to queries and to provide information and feedback on the main Project components. Further consultations will be held with vulnerable populations to ensure that the voices of stakeholders are heard in the process.
As the Project will require access to land, water and geological resources, another key element of the Simandou Project is the Resettlement and Compensation Action Plan (PARC) (Plan d'Action de Reinstallation et de Compensation). In order to access these resources, the Project will develop a resettlement and compensation programme which will be in line with Guinean regulations and the IFC Performance Standards (PS5).
Alan Davies, president international operations, Rio Tinto Iron Ore said:
''Rio Tinto is a global company and all of our business units throughout the world operate to the same high standards in terms of business practice, health and safety, the environment and the way we interact with communities. We aspire to build enduring relationships among the communities in which we live and work. Simandou is a unique project, which requires strong partnerships at every level. Only through mutual respect and partnership will we develop Africa's largest integrated mine and infrastructure project at the speed the government wants''.
In order to solicit feedback from stakeholders, a dedicated section on the Simandou website and email has been created to provide further information on the SEIA process and for stakeholders to provide comments and ask questions about the Project.
Notes to editors
Simandou is a world class iron-ore mining project operated by Rio Tinto that will include joint venture partners, the Government of Guinea, the Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group. The project is located in the south-east of Guinea and will comprise of a mine, approximately 650 km Trans-Guinean railway, and a deep water port south of Conakry. After a five year ramp up, the project will export up to 95 million tonnes per year. The first shipment of ore is expected by mid-2015.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.
Environmental Resources Management (ERM) is a leading global provider of environmental, health and safety, risk, and social consulting services. ERM delivers innovative solutions for business and government clients, helping them understand and manage their impacts on the world around them. ERM has 130 offices in 40 countries and employs approximately 3,600 staff.
For further information, please contact:
Media relations, Guinea
Fatoumata Diaraye Bah
Mobile: +224 62 35 51 91
Mobile: +224 62 35 04 85