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25 Mar 2024

Reliou Koubakin, DW

Guinea: NGOs raise concerns on Simandou's potential socio-environmental impacts; incl. co. comment

"In Guinea, the Simandou mine destroys vegetation cover" 14 March 2024

In the heart of the forest, which is home to the world's largest iron reserve, trucks have been going back and forth since the Simandou mining megaproject was launched, after nearly three decades of negotiations. The project, which represents an investment of €20 billion, is managed in partnership between the Anglo-Australian group Rio Tinto, the Chinese firm Chinalco and the Singaporean Winning Consortium Simandou. The project is expected to employ nearly 10,000 people in the long term. In addition to the revenues generated by the Simandou iron ore mine, Guinea will benefit from a port and a railway of more than 600 kilometres that have been built as part of this project. But Simandou has also forced thousands of local residents to leave their villages. A total of 20,000 people would be affected. NGOs are also concerned about the impact on the environment. Natural areas have already been damaged and are at risk of disappearing, such as mangroves and the forest where 30,000 chimpanzees live. But the head of the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto in Guinea, Samuel Gahigi, is reassuring about the environmental impact.