Fortescue Metals Group Ltd has entered into an agreement with the Government of the Republic of Gabon to study the opportunity to develop the Belinga Iron Ore Project in Gabon, West Africa. The agreement comprises a 36 month exclusivity period over an area totalling approximately 5,500 square kilometres to study and negotiate a Mining Convention for the development of the Belinga Iron Ore Project. A separate Gabon mining company will be established to enter into the Mining Convention and to hold the mining tenure over the Belinga Iron Ore Project. The mining company will be established by an incorporated joint venture which will be owned 80 per cent by Fortescue and 20 per cent by the Africa Transformation and Industrialisation Fund, an Africa-focused investment fund incorporated in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture will initially focus on exploration works to determine the potential size and grade of the Belinga iron ore deposit and logistics solutions during the 36 month exclusivity period. The Belinga Iron Ore Project is located in the northeast of Gabon. The deposit was initially discovered in 1955, and subsequent exploration in the 1970s identified high iron and low contaminant mineralisation. The deposit sits in Archean aged rocks of the Congo Craton. The lithology and structure are typical of other greenstone belts that commonly host banded iron formations and itabirites found in other parts of West Africa such as the Simandou project. The Belinga Iron Ore Project has been progressively assessed by Fortescue since 2018.