Rio Tinto invests $170m in Guinea

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The Independent Online

Rio Tinto outlined plans to invest $170m (£107m) in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea yesterday, despite ongoing disagreements with the West African state's government over various blocks on the asset.

The investment, which comes on top of the $650m already spent on exploration work, was welcomed by Guinea's Mines Minister, Mahmoud Thiam, who said yesterday that he welcomed anything that would speed up eventual production at Simandou, widely acknowledged as a world-class iron ore deposit. However, the minister also warned Rio Tinto not to pursue claims over two blocks on the project, which the Conakry administration claims the Anglo-Australian mining giant has lost its right to.

Rio Tinto, which still has rights with its partners over two other blocks, has argued that it still has concessions over all the blocks, claiming it has "firm rights".