Rio Tinto, the world’s third-largest miner, is in the final stages of an investment deal with Guinea for the Simandou iron ore deposit — one of the largest untapped iron ore sites in the world.
Chief executive Sam Walsh said he was optimistic development and predicted once an agreement was reached, the $18 billion construction phase will begin to ensure production gets underway towards the end of the decade.
“We are very hopeful that by the end of this month we will have signed the investment framework, which then enables us to finalise the finance, finalise the consortium and take the project forward,” he said.
Rio is working with the Guinea government, China’s Aluminium Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) and the IFC, the private lending arm of the World Bank to get the development off the ground.
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