As steelmakers race to reduce their carbon emissions, demand is growing for higher-grade, lower-impurity iron ore – the essential feedstock for steel production.
Simandou is home to the last known, largest and richest untapped high-grade iron ore deposit in the world.
The premium grade of Simandou iron ore will be a vital part of the energy transition, and broadens our global portfolio of iron ore products, complementing our existing, long-term iron ore production in Australia’s Pilbara region and in Canada.
Working with our communities
By its very nature, mining and processing disturbs the environment and can impact surrounding communities. Yet it delivers significant economic and social benefits, yielding materials needed for the energy transition and demands of increasing urbanisation. It also creates local employment; small business development; tax and royalty streams; and training, skills, and community development.
Our teams – ranging from archaeologists and economic development experts to human rights specialists and our operational leaders – work closely with communities to understand how our work affects their lives, their culture and their heritage. By doing so, we can respond to community concerns, optimise benefits and work to minimise negative impacts.
Throughout the history of our involvement in the Simandou project, we have maintained regular community consultation forums and sessions designed to maintain dialogue with local communities by addressing questions, concerns and additional opportunities to provide support. This work continues actively as we progress through to the forthcoming phases of construction and operation.
During our Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), completed in 2012 and currently under review, we consulted more than 10,000 people. To deliver on our commitment to community development, we then made US$500,000 annual contributions to community development throughout the project’s care and maintenance period from 2016 to 2020.
Initiatives this funding has supported have included learning and basic literacy training for local tradesmen (carpenters, masons), support for agricultural and livestock projects, market gardening cooperative development, as well as the modern butchery initiative to encourage procurement from local livestock herders and meat producers.
With a grant of US$2 million over three years, we are also continuing to invest in vocational training to help establish women-led businesses in the community.