LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Guinea is in constant talks with Rio Tinto and Chinalco to finalise a deal on the Simandou iron ore project, its mining minister said on Tuesday, adding he was confident an agreement would be reached.
Rio Tinto said in October 2016 said it had signed an outline agreement to sell its major stake in Simandou to Chinalco, a move many hoped would revive the long-stalled scheme.
Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba said he was confident a deal would be achieved. He gave no indication of how much more time was needed, but said that as soon as the parties had agreed, the project would be relaunched.
“We are working with Rio Tinto, with Chinalco to finalise the definitive accords, but it’s normal for so big a project that things can take a bit longer than expected,” he said in an interview.
A Rio spokesman had no comment, but the company’s CEO has said in the past that talks were ongoing when asked about the delay in completion. Chinalco could not immediately be reached for comment.