Rio Tinto’s diamonds and minerals chief executive Alan Davies solidified the company’s commitment to building the billion dollar Guinea-based Simandou iron ore project at the 2014 Mining Indaba. Once complete, the project (entailing mine, rail and port infrastructure) will create thousands of job opportunities and double the size of the country’s economy, writes Laura Cornish.

It has been 17 years (1997) since Rio Tinto first started exploring and evaluating Simandou’s iron ore potential and eight years (2006) since the Guinean government granted it the mining concession to advance the project further. Simandou has a 2.5 Bnt resource, which Rio Tinto announced that same year.

The project is set to become the largest integrated iron ore mine and infrastructure project developed in Africa, which Rio Tinto has been stating for years. No potential prospect or project has come along since to rival the project’s status, despite the delays in taking this project forward into development.

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