Guinea signed a $20 billion deal with Rio Tinto, Chinalco and the International Finance Corporation this week, which laid out the conditions required for a massive infrastructure investment to revive the Simandou iron-ore project.
Although a production start date was not set at the long-delayed mine, partners must produce a feasibility study detailing times and costs for the remote south-eastern mine.
In order to export the high-grade ore from Simandou, a 650 km railway through the West African jungle would need to be constructed, at an estimated cost of $7 billion, as well as a deep-water port at Morebaya, costing $4 billion. The supporting infrastructures would total an additional $2.5 billion, making the overall project an extensive one.
As well as being the largest combined iron-ore and infrastructure project in Africa, the project has the potential to not only supply iron-ore for the coming decades, but also strengthen the Guinean economy, as well as opening up the largely unused forested country.