Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto has signed a deal with China to develop a massive iron ore mine in West Africa.

China's state-backed metals group Chinalco will pay $1.3bn for 47% of the Simandou project in Guinea.

In a statement, Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese welcomed the Chinalco tie-up. "We have long believed that Rio Tinto and Chinalco could work together on major projects for mutual benefit," he said.

According to Rio Tinto, Simandou is one of the world's biggest undeveloped iron ore deposits. The deal also covers rail and port infrastructure and could create tens of thousands of jobs in Guinea.