(Bloomberg) --

Guinea’s government and its partners in the Simandou infrastructure and mine restarted construction works at the world’s biggest untapped reserve of iron ore.

The $15 billion project, which includes a railway and port, was restarted Saturday, almost one year after operations were suspended. It was officially launched by the ruling junta leader Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya at a ceremony in Moribaya, at least 100 km south of the capital Conakry.  

Simandou is part-owned by Rio Tinto Group and Winning Consortium Simandou, which is backed by Chinese and Singaporean companies. Recent negotiations allowed China Baowu Steel Group to enter in the project so as to accelerate the financing. 

Read more: Guinea Signs Pact With Rio Tinto and Partners for Simandou Stake

“My ambition is for the Simandou project to serve as real catalyst for the economic development of Guinea, and allow the country to become a major player in the world iron ore market,” Doumbouya said in a speech. 

He urged the companies involved to accelerate the project.

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