Pilbara killer 30-40% complete


The Pilbara killer is laying track.

On the fringes of the Africa CEO Forum earlier this month in Kigali, Rwanda, Rio Tinto Guinea’s managing director, Samuel Gahigi, stated that the Simandou mine would be operational a year ahead of the port and railroad necessary to export the ore.

In terms of infrastructure, or the development of the mine and the construction of the railroad and port, Gahigi estimates that the project is between thirty and thirty-five percent finished.

Gahigi stated, “Our goal is to have the first iron ore production by next year.”

However, he stated that the completion of the port and railway infrastructure is anticipated in 2026, which could cause a delay in the export of iron ore.


According to Gahigi, between 30 and 40 percent of the main railway line—which will carry iron ore from Simandou to the port—was finished. Up to 120 million tonnes of iron ore are anticipated to be exported a year from Simandou’s mines.

Gahigi stated, “They have started to put some tracks on their portion of the railway,” alluding to the section that WCS is building.

He added that WCS was building a 536km double-track main line and a 16km spur line, and that the Rio Tinto Simfer partnership was developing a 70km connecting railway line.


WCS has a plan to ship ore via transhipment with roughly the same timetable as Rio.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.