London — Almost every major player in mining has tried to build an iron ore mine in Guinea. Now it’s the turn of Mick Davis. Davis, aka Mick the Miner, had been one of mining’s most successful operators and deal makers, but in recent years has struggled to re-establish himself in the industry. Now, a remarkable make-up deal between billionaire mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz and the Guinean government has given him the chance to develop one of Africa’s richest iron ore deposits. Should Guinea and Steinmetz settle their disputes, Davis, through his new Niron Metals vehicle, will be able to develop the Zogota iron ore mine in south-eastern Guinea. The project, where mining giant Vale has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars, could be developed quickly and relatively cheaply using existing rail infrastructure that runs from the nearby Liberia border to a deep water port. “Niron believes the Zogota deposit can be brought into production on an accelerated timetable, thereby helping...

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