Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Africa, Materie Prime

Guinea. Simandou. La Cina sta acquisendo la principale fonte mondiale di ferro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-03.

2022-08-03__ Simandou 001

Il termine ‘iron ore’ è generico e spesso ambiguo: si riferisce al ferro estrattivo indipendentemente dalla concentrazione del metallo. È evidente che maggiore sia la concentrazione minori siano i costi di raffinazione.

Con il sistema economico in piena espansione, la Cina necessita di oltre un miliardo di tonnellate di ferro all’anno.

La sua produzione interna è del tutto insufficiente e, per di più, l’estratto è di bassa qualità. A questo consegue un maggiore costo di raffinazione.

Le miniere di Simandou estraggono minerale di alta qualità, con una concentrazione superiore al 60%. e sono stimate contenere oltre la metà delle scorte mondiali.

Da anni la Cina tesse la sua rete politica e diplomatica per assicurarsi il controllo di Simandou, ed adesso sembrerebbe essere alla conclusione dell’accordo.

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Guinea. Ha le maggiori intonse scorte di materiali ferrosi, che tutti vorrebbero. – Caixin

Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Perché alla Cina interessa l’Africa

Gruppo Wagner. La entità che non esiste ma agisce. Figlio negletto mai riconosciuto.

Cina. Ferro. Importa circa il 70% del materiale estratto a livello mondiale.

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L’importanza del Simandou risiede nella sua capacità di fornire ai principali consumatori di minerale di ferro, come la Cina, un’alternativa alle principali fonti di approvvigionamento come l’Australia e il Brasile.

Due consorzi hanno dichiarato che cercheranno finanziamenti per costruire più di 600 chilometri di infrastrutture ferroviarie che si estendono dal sud al sud-ovest della Guinea e infrastrutture portuali nella prefettura di Forecariah, nella Guinea Marittima.

A regime, Simandou sarebbe in grado di esportare fino a 100 milioni di tonnellate di minerale di ferro all’anno, rivaleggiando con i volumi di produzione di pesi massimi australiani come Fortescue Metals e della mega-mineraria brasiliana Vale.

Ma le future miniere della Guinea, che si estendono in quattro blocchi su due lotti settentrionali e meridionali e su oltre 100 chilometri di terreno accidentato e delicato.

Ma mercoledì i due consorzi proprietari dei quattro blocchi, Winning Consortium Simandou e Rio Tinto Simfer, e il governo guineano hanno concordato di sviluppare congiuntamente le infrastrutture multiutente per Simandou, un passo avanti nel progresso delle operazioni minerarie.

I due consorzi hanno dichiarato che cercheranno finanziamenti per costruire più di 600 chilometri di infrastrutture ferroviarie che si estendono dal sud al sud-ovest della Guinea, nonché infrastrutture portuali nella prefettura di Forecariah, nella Guinea Marittima.

Il Consorzio Winning Simandou comprende la società di Singapore Winning International Group, la società cinese Weiqiao Aluminum e la United Mining Suppliers International.

La presenza di società cinesi nelle operazioni di Simandou indica la speranza di Pechino di esplorare e diversificare ulteriormente le proprie fonti di minerale di ferro.

Togliere potere di mercato a società come BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale e Fortescue non è un’idea nuova in Cina.

L’ulteriore punto di forza di Simandou è il minerale di altissima qualità, con un contenuto di ferro del 65%. La maggior parte dei minatori australiani e brasiliani tende a esportare minerali tradizionali con un contenuto del 60%-62%.

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«Simandou’s significance lies in its ability to provide major iron ore consumers such as China with an alternative to top supply sources like Australia and Brazil»

«Two consortiums say they will seek financing to construct more than 600 kilometers of rail infrastructure extending from the south to the southwest of Guinea as well as port infrastructure in the Forecariah prefecture in Maritime Guinea»

«When fully operational, Simandou would be able to export up to 100 million tonnes of iron ore a year, rivaling the production volumes of Australian heavyweights such as Fortescue Metals and Brazilian mega-miner Vale»

«But the future Guinea mines, stretched across four blocks on two northern and southern parcels and over 100 kilometers of rough and sensitive terrain»

«But on Wednesday, the two consortium owners of the four blocks, Winning Consortium Simandou and Rio Tinto Simfer, and the Guinean government, agreed to co-develop multi-user infrastructure for Simandou, a step forward in progressing mining operations»

«The two consortiums say they will seek financing to construct more than 600 kilometers of rail infrastructure extending from the south to the southwest of Guinea as well as port infrastructure in the Forecariah prefecture in Maritime Guinea»

«Winning Consortium Simandou comprises Singaporean company, Winning International Group; Chinese company, Weiqiao Aluminum; and United Mining Suppliers International»

«The presence of Chinese companies in the Simandou operations point to Beijing’s hope to further explore and diversify its iron ore sources»

«Taking market power away from the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale and Fortescue is not a new idea in China»

«Simandou’s additional point of difference lies in its top quality ore, which have 65% iron content. Most of the miners in Australia and Brazil tend to export traditional 60% to 62% content ores»

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China is one small step closer to getting alternative iron ore supply from Simandou

– Simandou’s significance lies in its ability to provide major iron ore consumers such as China with an alternative to top supply sources like Australia and Brazil.

– Two consortiums say they will seek financing to construct more than 600 kilometers of rail infrastructure extending from the south to the southwest of Guinea as well as port infrastructure in the Forecariah prefecture in Maritime Guinea.

– When fully operational, Simandou would be able to export up to 100 million tonnes of iron ore a year, rivaling the production volumes of Australian heavyweights such as Fortescue Metals and Brazilian mega-miner Vale. 

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The development of one of the largest untapped high-grade iron ore deposits in the world in Guinea, Simandou, has moved a step forward after miners struck a deal to develop key infrastructure at the West African location. 

Simandou’s significance lies in its ability to provide major iron ore consumers such as China with an alternative to top supply sources like Australia and Brazil, creating raw material diversification for Chinese and other steel mills while offering coveted higher-quality ore. 

But the future Guinea mines, stretched across four blocks on two northern and southern parcels and over 100 kilometers of rough and sensitive terrain, are notoriously difficult to develop, resulting in years of delays and a production stalemate.

But on Wednesday, the two consortium owners of the four blocks, Winning Consortium Simandou and Rio Tinto Simfer, and the Guinean government, agreed to co-develop multi-user infrastructure for Simandou, a step forward in progressing mining operations. 

“WCS and Rio Tinto Simfer are committed to co-develop the rail and port infrastructures in line with internationally recognised environmental, social and governance standards,” a statement by the consortium owners and the Guinean government said. 

“The infrastructure constitutes the backbone of the Simandou project, that presents a significant opportunity for the economic growth of the Republic of Guinea, in addition to the mining activities it will support.”

The two consortiums say they will seek financing to construct more than 600 kilometers of rail infrastructure extending from the south to the southwest of Guinea as well as port infrastructure in the Forecariah prefecture in Maritime Guinea.

The inked deal comes after several rounds of delays which saw the Guinean government again suspend activities at Simandou last month when both consortium parties failed to reach a deadline. 

Winning Consortium Simandou comprises Singaporean company, Winning International Group; Chinese company, Weiqiao Aluminum; and United Mining Suppliers International.

The Simfer joint venture comprises Simfer S.A., owned by the Government of Guinea, and Simfer Jersey, which is made up of Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Group and Chinese group Chalco Iron Ore Holdings.

The presence of Chinese companies in the Simandou operations point to Beijing’s hope to further explore and diversify its iron ore sources, given its heavy dependence on Australian ore in particular. 

China has been importing about 60% of its total from Down Under. Another 20% comes from Brazil, according to Chinese customs figures.

However, frail relations between China and Australia in recent years have ignited a debate over China’s desire to push forward with the Simandou project

“China is particularly exposed to international iron ore prices given it only produces 15% to 20% of the iron ore it consumes,” said Vivek Dhar, a mining and energy commodities analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, in a note last week.

“Taking market power away from the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale and Fortescue is not a new idea in China.”

Alongside expediting new sources of iron ore, Dhar said China is attempting to control its iron ore supply by centralizing purchases of the material rather than allowing steel mills to do so in a piecemeal fashion, although that project might be hard to coordinate.

When fully operational, Simandou would be able to export up to 100 million tonnes of iron ore a year, rivaling the production volumes of Australian heavyweights such as Fortescue and Brazilian mega-miner Vale. 

Simandou’s additional point of difference lies in its top quality ore, which have 65% iron content. Most of the miners in Australia and Brazil tend to export traditional 60% to 62% content ores. Higher iron ore content means better yield and profits for miners. 

Simandou is expected to start production in 2025, although the project has had a checkered history of delays in the past two decades that also involved scandals such as bribery and corruption.