Sierra Rutile gave Sierra Leone’s Ebola-hit economy a big vote of confidence on 21 April 2015, with the news that it is set to construct a $44 million dry mine at Gangama, substantially expanding its rutile mining operations in the South of Sierra Leone.
Announcing the multi-million dollar investment at a meeting of international investors in London, John Bonoh Sisay, Sierra Rutile’s CEO said: “We are very excited to be embarking upon the next phase of Sierra Rutile’s expansion. Sierra Rutile is a strong company with a first class mining asset and operating team. Many other operators struggled to contain the impacts of Ebola, but we have worked tirelessly to mitigate these and emerge even stronger as an organisation. The Gangama expansion project is a significant investment in our operations and an important milestone in our history. As well as creating jobs in the area, both in the construction and operating phase, it will help secure the long-term future of the company and positions us well to become the world’s premier low-cost producer of high-grade mineral sands.”
|John Bonoh Sisay Sierra Rutile’s CEO
Sierra Rutile has been one of Sierra Leone’s leading mining companies, since it started operations 48 years ago. The company currently employs almost 2,250 people, either directly or through contractors, 95% of whom are Sierra Leone nationals.
Commenting on the good news, the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma said: “Sierra Rutile’s announcement of this major investment in its mining operations marks a turning point as we start to rebuild our economy following recent Ebola-related challenges. I am proud that one of Sierra Leone’s most important companies has not only weathered the Ebola storm, but is now emerging as a leading regional player in rebuilding our country’s future.”
The construction of the new Gangama dry mining operation will be similar to Sierra Rutile’s previous expansion project – the Lanti dry mine, which was commissioned in January 2013. It will be developed in two phases, each capable of mining 500 tonnes per hour. Sierra Rutile’s board of directors has approved the $44 million budget for the first phase of the project.
GangamaPhase 1 is expected to drive down Sierra Rutile’s total operating cash coststo $595/t and all-in operating cash coststo $670/t on average over its first five years, cementing Sierra Rutile’s position in the global market as the premier low-cost producer of high quality rutile. Construction ofGangama Phase 1 will begin this quarter and take 12 months, with first production targeted for the second quarter of 2016.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.