Rio Tinto plans to accelerate development at its Simandou iron ore mine in Nzérékoré, Guinea located in West Africa.
According to media reports, the move is in line with the company’s renewed focus on the metal coming right after its H1 earnings, which were dominated by ferrous ore production and sale. In fact, the company made profits of $4.56mn from its iron ore business alone.
The miner currently owns 46.6pc of Simandou, while steelmaker China Baowu, is vying for a 40pc stake that is currently held by Aluminum Corporation of China. The mine has indicated reserves exceeding 2.4bn mt with 65pc Fe grade. Rio Tinto’s investment to develop blocks three and four of the mine is estimated at around $20bn, with an operating life of 30 years.
According to estimates, the mine could produce 100mn mt of iron ore per year. Jean-Sebastian Jacques, the company’s chief executive, said that Simandou is one of the best sources to meet the growing demand for high-quality iron ore. He added that the mine will become a major producer with or without the company’s involvement.