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IFC Increases Investment in Guinean Iron Ore Project to Support Sustainable Mine Development and Local Economic Benefits


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is increasing its investment in Rio Tinto’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea to continue funding exploration and feasibility studies and to support its environmentally and socially sustainable development.

IFC has approved an additional $30 million investment in Simfer S.A., Rio Tinto’s Guinean project company, to maintain the 5 percent shareholding it acquired in 2006. IFC has been working with Rio Tinto on biodiversity, conservation, community development, and supply-chain linkages between the project and local entrepreneurs.

“IFC has considerable expertise and experience in projects like Simandou, particularly in maximizing the development benefit for local communities,” said Mike Harris, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Iron Ore Atlantic. “Working with IFC will enable us to increase jobs, improve infrastructure, and have a positive impact on the economy of surrounding areas.”

IFC’s involvement will support Rio Tinto and the Guinean government in conducting feasibility studies, environmental and social assessments, and ore transportation evaluations. IFC, the World Bank, and the government, have also conducted a broader study on best practice community development standards in the country’s mining sector. The study will be published soon, and the recommendations will be implemented shortly thereafter.

“By increasing our investment in the project, IFC is continuing a close relationship with Rio Tinto to benefit Guinea and its people,” said Somit Varma, IFC Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals. “The Simandou project has the potential to make a large, positive contribution to the country’s economy for many years and the infrastructure associated with the project will help attract further private sector investment to the region.”


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