Rio Tinto Mining Company has obtained an exploration permit for the southeastern Simandou Mountain mine for the first time Guinea. It is expected to invest more than $20 billion in iron ore extraction and transportation infrastructure in this poor country rich in iron.raw materials.
A report in the French newspaper Le Figaro, published recently, monitors the economic importance of the largest mining project in the world.
The biggest project
After nearly three decades of setbacks, the largest mining project in the world is supposed to be launched in Guinea, with a joint program between the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, the Guinean government, and several Chinese companies.
The project includes two iron mines, the development of a 600-kilometre railway network, and a deep-water port near the capital, Conakry.
The newspaper reported that Rio Tinto first obtained a permit to explore the Simandou Mountains mine, in the southeast of the country, in 1997, and since then, this country, with a population of 13 million people, which is very poor, but rich in bauxite and gold, has witnessed…Diamondsthe revolutionaries.
The process of exploiting iron ore reserves has been hampered throughout these years, due to disputes over mining rights and suspicions of corruption, as well as the volume of investments that will be implemented in a landlocked region and a country that lacks infrastructure.
The project's first production is scheduled to hit the market in 2025, and Simandou is expected to become the world's largest mine of iron ore, the main raw material used in steelmaking.
Furthermore, the site contains the world's largest untapped reserve with reserves exceeding two billion tons.
Rio Tinto, whose investments are expected to reach $6.2 billion, will build a mine called “Simfer” in partnership with a consortium led by Chinalco, the world’s leading aluminum producer.
A second mine is scheduled to be built, under the name “Weining Consortium Simandu”, by another Chinese group, “Baowu” Company, the world's leading steel production company, in partnership with the “Weining” global group, which is based in Singapore.
Rio Tinto hopes that this project, which aims to pioneer environmentally friendly steel production methods, will pave the way for a “new era” of mining.
Simandou's complex partnership structure provides a model for a “new era of joint development”, which is necessary to provide large amounts of minerals needed to build the green economy of the future.
Total production is expected to reach 60 million tons annually by 2028, representing about 5% of the global seaborne iron ore market.
Although steel is still widely used in many sectors, it is not in the best shape, between the bad luck of the Chinese real estate sector and the boom in the field of electric cars.
For these products, manufacturers prefer aluminum rather than steel to reduce their overall weight, and analysts at the Royal Bank of Canada expect that large surpluses of iron ore will be available in the long term, which is enough to reduce the prices of this material, the price of which has doubled since the end of 2019, at $141. per ton.