On 19 March (local time), the longest tunnel in Guinea, the Kindia Tunnel Project from the Maribaya Port to Simandou Railway Project to be undertaken by CR18G, was commenced. This project, as the first commencement section of the construction of the Maribaya-Simandou Railway, signifies the begging of implementation of the Maribaya -Simandou Railway.
Mr. Abdoulaye Magassouba, Minister of Mines and Geology, Mr. Mohamed Keita, Minister of Transport, Mr. Ismaël Dioubate, Minister of Budget, Mr. Oyé Guilavogui, Minister of State for Environment, Waters and Forests, Mr. Patrice Roger Millimono, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Cissé Hadja Sarangbè Camara, Chief Executive of Kindia Region, Mr.Sun Xiusun, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winning Consortium Simandou, Mr. Lv Xiaohui, CEO of Winning Consortium Simandou and the heads of CR18G International Corporation attended the commencement ceremony.
Located in the low and medium mountainous area in the south of the Fouta Djallon Plateau in Guinea, Kindia Tunnel is the controlling project of the whole line of Maribaya-Simandou Railway, with a total length of 11.62km and designed speed of 120km/hour.The tunnel is a single-tunnel double-track structure. The tunnel site area is dominated by grade III and IV surrounding rocks, with deep terrain, multiple fault zones and complex geological conditions. The project is featured by Chinese standards, technology and equipment. Upon completion, it will be the longest tunnel in Guinea and the longest tunnel constructed by CRCC in Africa, and expected to be completed in February 2024.
In his speech at the commencement ceremony, Mr.Abdoulaye Magassouba, Minister of Mines and Geology in Guinea, said, "The commencement of the preliminary tunnel project and the start of the construction of the railway is an important day for Guinea and marks the long-awaited start of the mining of the Simandou Mining Area. In addition to the mining project, this new 'lifeline' crossing a large part of Guinea's territory will be an important infrastructure for the country."
Mr.Cissé, Governor of Kindia Region in Guinea, said, "The successful launch of the Maribaya-Simandou Railway project will not only play an important role in improving local transport and employment and promoting the economic development of the areas along the road section, but will also be of great significance to the local government in promoting similar projects."
In his speech, Mr. Sun Xiusun, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winning Consortium Simandou,highly praised the construction workers of CR18G for overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic during the past year, ensuring the smooth progress of the Dasain Railway project, coordinating multiple resources and fast mobilization of staff to ensure the completion of the preliminary exploration and surface clearing of the Kindia Tunnel project as scheduled. It not only plays an important role in the subsequent construction of the whole line of the Maribaya-Simandou Railway, but also marks a new stage of bilateral cooperation. "The Maribaya-Simandou Railway will be built as a high standard modern and environmentally friendly railway, which will not only serve the development of the Simandou project after completion, but also provide a transportation corridor Guinea from east to west,, which will significantly drive the economic development along Guinea"",according to Mr. Sun.
It is understood that the Maribaya -Simandou Railway is an important supporting project for the development of block 1 and 2 of the Simandou mine. This mine area has world-class large-scale high-quality open-pit hematite ore and is regarded as the world's largest and highest-quality unexplored ore reserves, with proven reserves of about 2.25 billion tons, and the total resources may be up to 5 billion tons with high commercial mining value. The Maribaya-Simandou Railway is an important infrastructure to integrate the "One Belt & One Road" initiative and will optimise economic structure in Guinea. As the first east-west railway in the Guinea, upon completion, the project will effectively improve the local transportation, raise the production and living standards of residents, and give strong momentum to economic and social development in Guinea.