The Company is pleased to confirm that it has received key approvals from the Republic of Guinea’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development for the Terms of Reference (“TOR”) and the Scoping documents for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) process for the Phase 1 development of the Nimba Iron Ore Project.

These approvals are a critical step in advancing the project’s environmental and social approvals and confirms the scope, methodology, and key issues to be addressed during the ESIA process. This process is part of Guinea’s commitment to integrating environmental and social considerations into project planning and development​ and the Project’s Phase 1 TOR and Scoping documents can now be submitted to the Agence Guinéenne d’Évaluation Environnementale (“AGEE”) for their assessment and approval.

HPX President and CEO Bronwyn Barnes commented:

“We are very pleased that our working relationship with the government of Guinea continues in a transparent and professional manner with key approvals of the Terms of Reference and Scoping Documents for the ESIA received in such a timely manner. We remain committed to developing this Project to international best practice standards and are confident that the work we have completed to date demonstrates this commitment.”

“We will now focus our activities on finalising the significant work that has been completed to date on identifying, mitigating and improving our environmental and social impacts, and progressing our approvals. We look forward to commencing Phase 1 development activities for Nimba shortly.”

The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Her Excellency Djami Diallo, together with the Minister of Mines and Geology, His Excellency Bouna Sylla, recently made a joint visit to the Nimba Iron Ore Project in Guinea. The Ministers were accompanied by their respective technical and administrative teams, with more than 60 people participating in the visit.

Both Ministers reiterated their strong support for the project, underscoring its strategic importance for the socio-economic development of the region and contribution to the Guinean economy and development of the minerals sector. In turn, SMFG expressed its highest gratitude for the continued support of the Republic of Guinea in progressing Nimba towards development and reiterated its commitment to work closely with government authorities and stakeholders.

Guinean-based environmental consultancy, Insuco, is supporting the Company’s ESIA process. A review of the extensive historic data base on environmental and social baseline data has been completed, along with a number of site visits and meetings with local communities and stakeholders, with very positive feedback provided.

The Company is finalising funding for development of the Nimba Phase 1 ultra high-grade hematite project with its shareholders. The project is targeting essential high-end electric steel customers to help meet the world’s energy transition ambitions and is expecting first ore in late 2025. An announcement will be made shortly to confirm the preferred contractor for construction.

SMFG is 15% owned by the Republic of Guinea and 85% owned by HPX.

HPX is an American exploration and development company focused on advancing its high-grade long-life iron ore mine in the Lola region of the Southeastern region of the Republic of Guinea. HPX’s major shareholder is I-Pulse Inc, a US Company founded and chaired by Mr Robert Friedland, which has a number of high profile American institutional and private investors as shareholders.

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Recent visit to Nimba by The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Her Excellency Djami Diallo, together with the Minister of Mines and Geology, His Excellency Bouna Sylla, and their teams.