Rio Tinto pledged yesterday to press ahead with finalising an investment framework for the long-delayed Simandou iron ore project and said it would seek ratification from Guinea’s parliament as soon as possible. Guinea’s government confiscated half of the giant Simandou project in 2008, accusing Rio Tinto of moving too slowly, but the two sides settled differences in 2011 and it is seeking to develop the southern half. The company pushed back its start date by at least three years to 2018 last year, without giving a reason. “The parties have affirmed their commitment on the Simandou project. They have agreed that the priority is to agree [on] the investment framework on which they are working relentlessly and to ratify it by the parliament as soon as possible,” Rio Tinto said. It added that after the project was ratified, it would aim to complete a bankable feasibility study by early next year. The pledge follows a meeting late last month between Rio Tinto management and President Alpha Condé. – Reuters