Rio Tinto Simandou, Guinea: IFC PS6 and SEIA development

Water areas_Simandou_SRLivingstone_001_06Oct11A 2009 full assessment of Critical Habitat by TBC for the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Simandou mine in Guinea set a global benchmark for quality and character of Critical Habitat assessments. TBC developed effective, practical, custom-built methods to apply International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6 (PS6) to the comprehensive biodiversity dataset available for the site. In 2012, TBC worked with Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to ensure the social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) for all three project components (mine, rail and port) aligned with IFC PS6.

TBC’s development of the mine’s Critical Habitat assessment at the Pre-Feasibility stage allowed the project to identify and prioritise high biodiversity risks. Early identification of risks facilitated greater use of simpler and more cost-effective earlier steps within the mitigation hierarchy, such as avoidance of key areas for chimpanzees and minimisation of impacts on key areas of forest through in-pit dumping. Understanding of Critical Habitat-qualifying biodiversity in the project area has also supported high-level design of biodiversity offsets.