Glencore has expressed interest in iron deposits in Guinea, although the company said it had not pitched for a stake in Simandou. Reuters reports that Glencore is the latest mining major looking to invest in iron ore assets in Guinea. Most interest is focused on Simandou, one of the biggest deposits, however, any potential investors in Simandou are treading carefully.
Israeli-owned BSG Resources, which was stripped of its licence to develop part of Simandou following a Guinean corruption investigation, is seeking arbitration and has threatened to sue companies that invest in its former licence area. Three sources close to the government said London-listed Glencore had indicated its interest in investing in Simandou, in a meeting with government officials in Conakry in June.
ArcelorMittal has, meanwhile, announced it had signed deals to purchase stakes in an iron ore project in Guinea. According to an Engineering News report, ArcelorMittal said that it would buy a 43.5% stake in Euronimba from Billiton Guinea, a unit of BHP Billiton and a 13% stake from Compagnie Francaise de Mines et Metaux, a unit of Areva.
Euronimba holds a 95% indirect interest in the Mount Nimba iron ore project, a deposit with an estimated 935m tonnes of direct shipped ore with an average grade of 63.1% of iron. The site is about 40km from ArcelorMittal’s mine in Liberia. The company should be able to use its Liberian railroad and port facilities, meaning that its capital expenditure would be much lower than otherwise the case, CFO Aditya Mittal said. He added that approval for exporting ore from Guinea to Liberia was critical to the acquisition.