Image courtesy Rio Tinto Simandou

A consortium representing Chinese, French and Singaporean interests has won a tender to develop the northern area of Simandou in Guinea.

Guinea – The SMB-Winning Consortium led by Singaporean Winning International Group and Guinea’s Société Minière de Boké is now officially the “Temporary Selected Eligible Bidder” to develop blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou, one of the world’s largest untapped iron ore deposits.

SMB-Winning Consortium is currently Guinea’s largest bauxite developer. Through the consortium’s efforts, the country has become the world’s largest exporter of bauxite in just four years. 

Sun Xiushun, chief commander of Guinea’s SMB-Winning Consortium stated, “This is incredibly exciting news. We were successful in the creation of the largest bauxite project in Guinea, and now we hope to be even more innovative, more environmentally friendly and efficient in developing blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou.

“Through mining, railway construction, port construction, and community development, we will once again build a mining project with a capacity of 60 million to 80 million tons. This will greatly benefit Guinea and its people, which is the commitment SMB-Winning Consortium has made to change and develop the country.”

Read: Simandou’s stumbling block

Limitless untapped potential

Located approximately 650 km southeast of Guinea’s capital city, Conakry, Simandou is one of the world’s largest untapped and richest high-grade iron ore deposits. It is an open-pit mine with estimated reserves of billions of tons.

In March this year, the Guinean government reached a settlement agreement with Israel’s BSGR and successfully regained blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou.

The Guinean government has stated that the ore from Simandou must be exported through the railway and port within Guinea, requiring the construction of a new railway and port to Guinea’s coast, both within the boundaries of the country.