Vale’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea continues to be under review, despite of being dropped from its approved project list, the company said.

“The project has not been cited [in the list], because there aren’t recurring expenses related to it at the moment,” a spokeswoman told Metal Bulletin sister title Steel First.

Vale made no reference to either Simandou blocks 1 & 2 or the nearby Zogota mine in its financial results for the first quarter of 2013.

The Brazilian miner said in October it was reviewing the “scale and schedule” of the Simandou iron ore project, with regard to regulatory issues in Guinea.

Vale’s ceo Murilo Ferreira reiterated that the miner is “closely following and co-operating” with the FBI and the government of Guinea in the BSG Resources (BSGR) rights probe.

“Actions are related to a period before Vale signing a deal with BSGR, so we have guaranteed that Vale is not involved,” Ferreira said during a call for analysts on Thursday April 25.

Vale acquired a 51% interest in BSGR’s Simandou concession in 2010 for $2.5 billion, while BSGR retained the remaining 49%.

“Guinea’s president expressed several times that he is extremely interested in maintaining Vale’s project in the country,” Ferreira added.

Ana Paula Camargo 
acamargo@steelfirst.com
Twitter: #!/ACamargo_SF