Nimba Iron Ore
On March 12, 2021, MIGA issued guarantees totaling US$123.3 million to High Power Exploration (HPX) of the United States of America covering its equity and quasi-equity investments in (i) Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée SA (SMFG) in the Republic of Guinea and (ii) Euronimba Liberia Limited in the Republic of Liberia for the Nimba Iron Ore Mine project (the Project). The MIGA guarantees provide coverage to HPX against the risks of Breach of Contract, Expropriation, Transfer Restriction and Currency Inconvertibility, and War and Civil Disturbance for a period of up to 4 years.
The Project consists of the development of a high-grade, open pit, iron ore mine and associated facilities in the Nimba Mountains and adjacent lowlands in the Nzérékoré Region of southeastern Guinea, located approximately 800 kilometers from Conakry. The MIGA guarantees support the studies phase of the Mine, which includes the completion of early technical studies such as pre-feasibility studies, a bankable feasibility study, and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) as well as the development of Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs). The scope of the Project also entails the assessment of transport options for the evacuation of the iron ore from the Mine either through Guinean rail and port infrastructure or through neighboring Liberia. The Nimba Mine is located in an enclave adjacent to a World Heritage Site (WHS) and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, in a concession area where mining activity is permitted. MIGA’s guarantees are limited to the studies phase only, and do not include coverage for the subsequent construction or operational phase activities of the Mine.
While the studies are expected to have minimal environmental and social risks and impacts, the project is classified as Category A under MIGA's Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability due to the risks inherent to the sector, the unique biodiversity context of the Project site and the fact that the risks and impacts associated with eventual construction and operation of an iron ore mine are anticipated to be diverse, irreversible and unprecedented. Click here for the project’s Environmental and Social Review Summary.
The Project represents a critical milestone in the long-standing development of the Nimba Iron Ore Mine. Its key benefits stem from the mobilization of private sector financing, as well as strong technical expertise deployed towards advancing a complex and important asset for the country. MIGA’s involvement also supports the development of a bankable project that complies with MIGA’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, and international best practices in its design and operation. Upon full development, the Nimba Iron Ore Mine has the potential to carry substantial developmental benefits, including but not limited to, revenue generation (taxes and royalties), employment, infrastructure building, improved protection and management of the adjacent World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, local community development in Guinea and potentially Liberia, as well as potentially further economic benefits stemming from the unlocking of a transport corridor between the two countries.