September 4, 2014 / 12:23 PM / 5 years ago

Guinea hopes for $50 billion in mining investment in next decade

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Guinea hopes to attract $50 billion of investment into its mining sector in the next decade, the country’s minister of mines said on Thursday, an ambitious goal for a country with GDP of about $7 billion currently.

The West African country is endowed with rich deposits of iron ore and bauxite among other minerals and has oil potential too, but a scandal surrounding the giant Simandou iron ore deposit has delayed its development.

Developing the Simandou South iron project could double Guinea’s current GDP, Mines minister Kerfalla Yansane said in a presentation made during the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth, western Australia.

The project, which has global miner Rio Tinto as a major shareholder, includes construction of an iron ore mine, a railway across the country and a new deep sea port to export the mineral and is estimated to cost a total of about $20 billion.

It would be African’s biggest iron ore project.

Tom Wilson from consultancy Africa Practice said Guinea has quality resources, but that 10 years is probably too short for the country to absorb that much investment.

“You might see $50 billion go into Guinea in the next 20 years but maybe not in the next decade.” (Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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