Boutique law firms Phanar Legal (London) and Sylla & Partners (Conakry) have jointly advised the State of Guinea on the $14 billion Simandou North project. The project is the largest mine and infrastructure project across the African continent which will unlock the potential of the world’s largest undeveloped iron ore deposit.
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Phanar Legal and Sylla & Partners have provided ongoing integrated counsel to the State of Guinea to form a legal framework for the Simandou North project, culminating in the negotiation and conclusion of a mining agreement signed on 8 June 2020; as well as rail and port agreements signed on 12 November 2020.
The agreements pave the way for the construction of a 650km Trans-Guinean railway and a new coastal port with an estimated annual production capacity at 100 MTPA. The project will act as a catalyst for economic development along the railway corridor, particularly in the agricultural sector where is it expected to generate significant job opportunities.
Phanar Legal and Sylla & Partners will now seek a merger of equals to further capitalise on the emerging opportunities for law firms in Africa and Europe to collaborate on an equal footing as more African nations seek to accelerate their economic development.
Philip Rogers, Senior Partner at Phanar Legal, commented:
"This is project is truly transformational and it is a privilege to have been a part of it. We have been involved from devising and organising the tender through to signing the project documents comprising a mining convention, rail convention and port convention. It is a tribute to both the Republic of Guinea and SMB-Winning to have been able to conclude such complex negotiations during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Mohamed Sylla, Managing Partner at Sylla & Partners, commented:
"This project will help to change the lives of future generations and I am very proud that we have supported the Government of Guinea. The vision, energy and inspiration of the President and Mining Minister, and the dedication of officials in the Mining Ministry, have brought about this transformational deal. The SMB-Winning consortium is also to be applauded for the constructive approach they have adopted throughout the process."
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