The Simandou partners sign the founding agreements for the Compagnie du TransGuinéen (CTG) infrastructure

The Government of the Republic of Guinea, Rio Tinto Simfer [1] and Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) [2] united in the Consortium, the Compagnie du TransGuinéen (CTG) today signed the founding agreements for the TransGuinéen port and rail infrastructure, marking a decisive step in the long-awaited Simandou project and a historic moment for Guinea.

The signing of these agreements marks a decisive milestone, establishing a comprehensive framework for the major infrastructure of the Simandou project and highlighting the unwavering commitment of all parties involved. The implementation of the infrastructure will facilitate the export of iron ore and the transport of passengers and goods, stimulating the local economy thanks to the Compagnie du TransGuinéen (CTG) and creating significant opportunities for Guinea and West Africa. The success of this venture is based on multilateral cooperation. Each participant leverages its strengths to ensure collective prosperity and promote the development of Guinea.

Mr. Djiba DIAKITÉ, Chairman of the Simandou Strategic Monitoring Committee, declared in the wake of this crucial signing for the development of the Simandou project: “I salute the considerable efforts of the various stakeholders in the project. This founding agreement is the culmination of the determination of the Head of State, the Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, whose vision, leadership and political will have made it possible to relaunch this project to the great delight of the sovereign people of Guinea”.

The Simandou project is divided into two main phases:

  • The construction phase which focuses on promoting local content by prioritizing jobs for Guineans and business opportunities for Guinean companies, as well as training to facilitate the transfer of technology.
  • The operation phase will essentially consist of securing strategic governance challenges and revenues from mining to build a development base, all along the +600 km TransGuinéenrailway corridor. It will enable iron ore to be extracted from the Simandou mines (the four blocks), transport it via the TransGuinéen and to proceed to export it to the Morebaya mineral port (Forécariah) in the south-west of the country.

“The multi-use aspect of the railroad should connect agricultural basins with urban centres and open up the entire southeast and southwest corridor. This phase should accelerate the transfer of skills and technologies, build capacity and revitalise local economies by promoting local skills and businesses. The Simandou project should guarantee Guinea’s socio-economic development and accelerate inclusive growth in the country”, reaffirmed the president of the Simandou Project’s Strategic Monitoring Committee.

Mr. Bold Baatar, Rio Tinto Executive Committee member in charge of the Simandou project and Chief Executive, Rio Tinto Copper, commented: “We sincerely thank the Republic of Guinea for their confidence and vision, which have enabled us to bring together partners for the co-development of the Simandou project’s infrastructure. This will enable us to accelerate the progress already made in building the mine, railroad and port, and to continue to mobilise our workforce, which already exceeds 3,000 recruited employees. Rio Tinto and its partners will pay particular attention throughout the project to the development of local content, the strengthening of Guinean expertise and strict compliance with globally recognised ESG standards. I am convinced that this project has remarkable potential to boost Guinea’s economy and bring about a profound and lasting transformation in the lives of Guineans”.

Mr. Sun Xiushun, President of Winning Consortium Simandou, said: ” We express our gratitude to the Republic of Guinea for its support in developing the Simandou project’s infrastructure, benefiting communities and future generations. This historic milestone of the project unites us as partners for responsible and sustainable development. Our goal is to contribute to Guinea’s flourishing by fostering transformative progress with lasting impact, with special attention to environmental protection, social impact, and local economic growth. This significant step allows WCS to continue building upon the foundations it has established over the years, while our unwavering commitment to local content, healthcare, environment, education, community, and infrastructure development underscores our steadfast dedication to fostering positive and lasting changes for the present and future of Guinea”.

Last year, the group China Baowu Steel signed a memorandum of understanding with WCS, which could enable them to enter into a partnership with WCS for the Simandou project.

It should be noted that in line with the vision of the President of the Republic, Colonel Mamadi DOUMBOUYA, a vision translated into action by Mr. Djiba DIAKITÉ, the codevelopment of the Simandou project is not a choice but rather an imperative in the interests of all stakeholders.

The project partners are working hard to finalise joint venture arrangements, and to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval from competition’s authorities and authorisations on Chinese investment. The key agreements signed must be ratified by the Government of Guinea.

Conakry, 10 August 2023