20 June 2012
Rio Tinto announces further investment in the development of Simandou
Rio Tinto, through its subsidiary Simfer S.A., has announced a further investment of US$1 billion (Rio Tinto share US$501 million) in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea as part of wider plans to develop its iron ore business.
The investment will include detailed design studies, and early works and long-lead items, primarily for developing rail and port infrastructure. This will allow work to begin on the eastern rail sections up to the Mamou mountains, commence the construction of marine structures at the port site and develop enabling infrastructure such as camps, quarries, roads and support services.
With first commercial production planned for 2015 and over US$3 billion already committed to date, Simandou is set to become the largest integrated iron ore mine and infrastructure project developed in Africa.
Graham Davidson, managing director, Rio Tinto Simfer said "The investment we and our partners are making in Simandou is another step towards the progressive development of a new world-class mineral resource. Further investments will be made as the Government of Guinea progresses its financing strategy and grants approvals for the next steps in developing rail and port infrastructure, which will offer benefits for all Guineans."
Ismael Diakite, managing director Rio Tinto Guinea remarked "This additional investment underscores Rio Tinto's strong commitment to the Simandou project and the people of Guinea as we prepare for first ore in 2015. We have approximately 3,000 employees and contractors on the ground in Guinea, and this number will increase further as we progress construction."
Over the past two years Rio Tinto has spent over US$4 million on a large number of socioeconomic projects across Guinea. Other projects are currently being developed at a national and local level, demonstrating Rio Tinto's ongoing commitment to enhance opportunities for employment, local enterprise and wider economic growth that will benefit all Guineans. Each of these projects have been selected to ensure alignment with Rio Tinto and Government of Guinea priorities in areas such as health, education, agriculture and training.
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 Limited (Chalco) 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 700 km Trans-Guinean railway, and a port south of Conakry. After a five year ramp up, the project expects to export up to 95 million tonnes per year. The first shipment of ore is expected in 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 aluminium, 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.
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