Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has confirmed its interest in a slice of the giant Simandou iron ore deposit, handed back this year to the Guinean government by billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources.
The committee in charge of an international tender for the project’s blocks 1 and 2, launched in mid-July, should come to a final decision in November, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
Both the consortium of Société Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Singapore’s Winning, which is Guinea’s biggest bauxite exporter, have already acknowledged they submitted an offer. Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s largest producer of iron ore, is also said to have paid for documents needed to submit an offer, but decided not to do so.
At two billion tonnes of iron ore with some of the highest grades in the industry, Simandou is one of the world’s biggest and richest reserves of the steelmaking material, but it has a controversial past.
For more than a decade, it was the centre of a bitter dispute that involved Rio Tinto, Brazil’s Vale SA and Israeli diamond mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz.
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