Guinea halts Simandou iron ore project, seeks new partners
All work related to the Simandou iron ore project was ordered to be stopped by Guinea’s mines minister on July 3. The project was halted due to the two companies involved failed to meet a deadline to agree on a joint venture. The companies showed a lack of willingness to work in a partnership.
The halt applied across the country beginning at 8am local time on Monday. The Guinean government said they were open to discussing the project with new partners in the future. The project aims to extract iron ore from its hinterland to a port hundreds of kilometers away. The construction of the mine and infrastructure was suspended in March as well. As a result of the delay in March, a framework was signed to develop the mine, railway, and a port. The framework guaranteed Guinea 15% of the Simandou iron ore along with a 15% stake in the railway and port venture. The two companies Rio and WCS were delaying agreeing on the terms of the government’s stake in the project when they missed their deadlines to agree on the joint venture.