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Giant cape shifting Simandou iron ore project moves ahead

Railway construction and tunnelling works have commenced around the Simandou iron ore project in the southeast of Guinea, a mine in west Africa which is set to reshape global iron ore trading patterns.

A consortium, which includes Singapore’s Winning Shipping, Guinean mining logistics firm United Mining Supply (UMS), Chinese aluminium producer Shandong Weiqiao and Guinea’s government, won a tender in 2019 to develop blocks 1 and 2 in the northern area of Simandou. Simandou deposits have been estimated at 2.4bn tonnes of high-grade ore, with much of it earmarked for Chinese consumption.

Simandou iron ore exports will potentially work out at 68 capesize voyages a year, according to estimates by Splash.

The consortium will build a 650 km railway line and a deepwater port at Matakong on the Atlantic coast aiming to bring the two blocks into production by 2025.

The railway will cross the Madina-Oula subprefecture through a 11.7 km tunnel under a mountain. A second tunnel, with a total length of 9 km, will also be built in the subprefecture of Ouré-Kaba in the prefecture of Mamou.

According to the Guinean Ministry of Mines, the tunnels will take three years to build, between June 1 2021 and January 2024.

Winning Shipping has been growing its cape fleet dramatically in recent years, and is principally engaged on the growing commodity ties between West Africa and China.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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