Guinea and Liberia iron ore rail projects suffer setbacks

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MONROVIA-According to  Africa Intelligence website, Guinean President Mamady Doumbouya has ordered a review of the rail and port infrastructure plans associated with the Simandou iron ore project, thereby delaying the start of the railway’s construction.

It reported that Guinea, which has some of the biggest unexploited iron ore deposits in the world in its south eastern corner, is also one of the countries in which they are the most difficult to bring into production, principally because of the absence of infrastructures to evacuate the ore.

Société Minière de Boké, which has the rights to the northern part of the Simandou project, still believes in its project, however, and this could serve to encourage its neighbours in the southern part, Rio Tinto and Chinalco.

Two other nearby iron ore bodies have also attracted the leading figures of the international mining sector, Nimba and Zogota. All this seems to be attracting new investors to adjoining exploration permits.

Liberia is also taking another look at plans for ArcelorMittal’s rail line to transport ore through its territory.

Industrial experts said the review of the concession could either be in favor of them or not. Meanwhile, all or companies that have interest in  Mittal’s rail are waiting for the outcome of the review from Guinea.

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