Guinea

Simandou South (blocks 3 and 4) Project

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StagePermitting
Commodities
  • Iron Ore
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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SnapshotThe Simandou iron ore project in Guinea c largest known undeveloped high-grade low-impurity iron ore deposits, demand for which is increasing as steelmakers look to reduce carbon emissions.

The Simandou site is divided into four mining blocks, broken up into two projects: Simandou North (blocks 1 and 2) and Simandou South (blocks 3 and 4). Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) is the owner of Simandou Blocks 1 and 2.

Rio Tinto and its Simfer joint venture (JV) partners have determined key agreements with the Republic of Guinea and WCS on the trans-Guinean infrastructure for the Simandou project.

The Simandou South (Blocks 3 and 4) consists of Pic de Fon and Ouéléba iron deposits. The feasibility study for Ouéléba is completed. Pic de Fon deposit will undergo an additional feasibility study.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Government of Guinea 15 % Indirect
Chinalco Mining Corporation International 39.95 % Indirect
Rio Tinto plc 45.05 % Indirect
Simfer S.A., (operator) 100 % Direct
The Simandou project operates under the Simfer joint venture where the Government of Guinea holds 15% and Simfer Jersey holds 85%. Simfer Jersey is owned by Chalco Iron Ore Holdings (CIOH) (47%) and Rio Tinto (53%). Rio Tinto and CIOH, own 45.05% and 39.95% of Simandou, respectively.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Banded iron formation

Summary:

The Mineral Resources are based on the Pic de Fon and Ouéléba deposits which are typical of supergeneenriched itabirite hosted iron deposits. The deposits are part of a supracrustal belt with the banded iron formation (BIF) proto-ore likely deposited in a shallow marine setting within a forearc basin.

The deposits are located in the Simandou Range on a prominent ridge. The Simandou Range is the result of multi-phase ductile deformation represented by tight synformal fold keels and sheared antiformal structures. The ridge consists of a formation of itabirites (metamorphosed BIF) and phyllites within the Simandou Group overlying basement gneiss and amphibolite. The itabirites and phyllites have been deeply weathered and identifying stratigraphy is difficult, with the only discernible contact being that between the itabirites and
phyllites.

The following domains have been interpreted for the itabirites: laterite, carapace, transitional mineralisation, friable hematite goethite mineralisation, friable enriched itabirite, friable poor itabirite and compact poor itabirite.

Phyllite domains have been interpreted for very weak phyllite, soil strength phyllite, weak phyllite, compact pyritic phyllite, weak quartzite and compact quartzite.

Laterite and carapace are sub-horizontal with the laterite overlying all other lithologies and the carapace overlying the mineralisation and enriched itabirite lithologies.

The itabirites and phyllites are interpreted to be folded with the axial planes of the fold hinges dipping moderately to steeply towards the west.

The high-grade mineralisation at Pic de Fon and Ouéléba is located on the top of the ridge, and typically consists of hematite-martite and hematite-goethite mineralisation respectively. Drilling has confirmed that the high-grade mineralisation extends to over 400 m from the
surface.

The high-grade mineralisation at both deposits transitions downwards into a partially enriched, generally friable, itabirites and then into unenriched itabirites which also transition from friable to compact with increasing depth away from the mineralisation front.

A surface covering of weathered mineralisation typically up to 20 m to 30 m in depth is found over the high-grade mineralisation at Pic de Fon. At Ouéléba much deeper pervasive weathering is observed with a weathered carapace (goethite, clay and limonite rich) and a transitional weathering/mineralisation zone are observed over the high-grade mineralisation. These zones are typically between 30 m to 100 m thick but can be over 300 m thick in some locations.

The Ouéléba deposit strikes approximately north-northeast/south-southwest with an along strike extent of 9.8 km, with a width of approximately 0.8 km at the widest. The resource mineralisation extends from surface to a vertical depth of approximately 600 m.

The Pic de Fon deposit strikes approximately north-northwest/south-southeast with an along strike extent of 7.5 km, with a width of approximately 1 km at the widest extent (approximately 0.5 km on average). The resource mineralisation extends from surface to a vertical depth of approximately 500 m.

Supergene-enriched itabirite hosted iron ore deposits. The deposits are part of a supracrustal belt with the banded iron formation proto-ore likely deposited in a shallow marine setting within a forearc basin. The age of deposition is considered to be between 2.7Ga and 2.2Ga.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual

Operational metrics

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Annual ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study.

Production Costs

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Cash costs Iron Ore USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study / presentation.

Project Costs

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Total CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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Aerial view:

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