If the Roche Bay feasibility study, delivered in August, had come in with a $3 billion NPV and $1 billion capex do you really think XinXing would still be twiddling its thumbs 6 months later? Of course not. They would have flown the next day to Toronto sign the JV agreement before another steelmaker snatched it up.
Don't believe the Gingerich delay and confusion tactics about "restructuring" being complex. The only hold up to the JV process is that XinXing is not going to invest in Roche Bay without better feasibility study results.
Why should XinXing be interested in a project with the lowest NPV and IRR, by far, in the iron ore space? How in the world would XinXing get the project financing from the Chinese banks with such bad numbers? A feasibility study is called "bankable" sometimes because you take it to the conservative bankers and establish that your project has great value and is worth of the loans.
Everybody knows that the Roche Bay feasibility study isn't going to attract $1.3 billion in project finance. Even AXI management admits it: their immediate plans are to improve the project's numbers with LNG replacing arctic diesel, more drilling, more modularization etc.