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Guinea suspends Simandou iron-ore project, saying there has been no progress

Guinea’s ruling junta has ordered the cessation of all activities at the massive Simandou iron-ore deposit owned by Rio Tinto and a Chinese-backed consortium, saying it was seeking clarification of how Guinea’s interests will be preserved.

Simandou, in Guinea’s remote south-eastern corner, is the largest known deposit of its kind, holding more than two-billion tonnes of high-grade ore, but legal disputes and the cost of building infrastructure have left it entirely untapped decades after its discovery.

In a statement read on national television late on Thursday, Guinea’s interim government said interim president Mamady Doumbouya, who took power in a military coup in September, had not seen any progress towards developing the project.

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