The iron ore body of Simandou is located in the southern part of the Simandou Mountain in south-eastern Guinea. The mine contains friable hematite and goethite hematite. Pic de Fon and Ouéléba are the two main deposits at Simandou. The deposits are approximately six to eight kilometers in length, one to 1.5km wide, and extend to 300m in depth, while being up to 500m deep in some places. Pic de Fon contains high grade hematite containing more than 62% iron, while Ouéléba has hematite-goethite. The two deposits together hold more than 2.4 billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore.
The project is being developed by Rio Tinto in partnership with the Government of Guinea, the Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Rio Tinto and Chinalco hold 46.57% and 41.3% stakes respectively in the project. The Republic of Guinea holds 7.5%, while International Financière Corporation (IFC) owns the remaining equity in the mine.
The mine development principally involves three components. The first component is the development of the mine, which is expected to produce 100 million tonnes of iron ore per year. The second component is the construction of a railway line, which will be approximately 650km long, to transport the extracted ore. The third component is the construction of a new port and associated infrastructure in the Forécariah prefecture to facilitate the shipping of the ore. The project infrastructure will be operated by special purpose vehicles (SPV) established by Rio Tinto and Chinalco. The Guinean government owns the right to acquire up to 35% stake in the project and a 51% stake in the rail and port infrastructure Available Data:
Physical and chemical properties
The new trans-Guinean railway line will connect Simandou to the coast of Guinea. The ore trains will have up to six locomotives, 240 ore transport cars, and one crew car. The train will be 2,500m long and will travel at a speed of 80km/h. The trains will carry 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes of iron ore. A deepwater port to the south of Conakry will be built in the Forécariah prefecture. The port complex will include ore car unloading and processing, ore stockyard, a jetty/causeway extending out to deepwater, shipping channel, wharf, deepwater berths and ship loaders, support buildings, utilities, and infrastructure. A maritime offloading facility will also be built, to facilitate the import of construction materials and plant equipment.
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