Rio Tinto Shelves Guinea Iron Ore Project

Simandou iron ore mine development

By MarEx 2016-07-04 17:22:41

Rio Tinto has shelved its $20 billion Simandou iron ore project in Guinea because of a sustained slump in prices, the company's new Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in an interview with The Times newspaper.

Simandou would have provided Rio Tinto access to one of the world’s largest untapped high-grade iron ore resources, and was expected to sustain a mine life in excess of 40 years.

Rio Tinto declined to comment on the article.

The world's second biggest miner by market capitalization had been seeking financing for Simandou, even after a $1.1 billion writedown on the project in February. Last month the Anglo-Australian company submitted a feasibility study to the Guinean government.

But global oversupply of iron ore made the project inviable at this time, Jacques told The Times.

Simandou would have comprised an iron ore mine in central Guinea, a 650-kilometer (404-mile) railway and a deepwater port on the West African country's Atlantic Coast.

At full production, Rio said the project would generate about $7.5 billion in revenues, according to a 2014 report, and add $5.6 billion to Guinea's GDP, making Guinea the fastest growing economy in the world.