The IFC has approved a further US$30mn investment in Rio Tinto’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea to fund continued exploration and feasibility studies.

The funds have been granted to Simfer, Rio Tinto’s Guinean project company in order to maintain its 5% shareholding acquired in 2006. IFC is also intending that the funds be used to support the project’s environmentally and socially sustainable development.

“IFC has considerable expertise and experience in projects like Simandou, particularly in maximizing the development benefit for local communities,” remarks Mike Harris, managing director of Rio Tinto Iron Ore Atlantic.

“Working with IFC will enable us to increase jobs, improve infrastructure, and have a positive impact on the economy of surrounding areas,” he adds.

Somit Varma, IFC director for oil, gas, mining and chemicals concludes: “The Simandou project has the potential to make a large, positive contribution to the country’s economy for many years and the infrastructure associated with the project will help attract further private sector investment to the region.”