A team, comprising the Board of Directors and Senior Management of the National Minerals Agency (NMA), has completed familiarization and monitoring visits to the mining operations of Marampa Mines Limited (MML) at Marampa chiefdom in Port Loko district, and Leone Rock Metal Group (LRMG) at Dansogoia chiefdom in Tonkolili district. The purpose of the visits, which took place on 2nd to 4th February 2022, was for the Board and Management to get first-hand knowledge about the operations of both companies, inspect their facilities and discuss future plans, including how the NMA can work with them to increase output and improve mining contribution to the economy.
At the Marampa mine site, the team was joined by other Government officials, including the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, the Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources. The Government delegation expressed delight that the company and Government were able to amicably resolve their differences and start a new chapter to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. The Minister of Finance, Dennis Vandi, expressed renewed hopes that the company would operate profitably and generate the expected revenue for Government.
In his statement, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Musa Kabba, noted that the visit was an opportunity for the delegation and the company to discuss the opportunities and successes ahead, in the interest of national development. He stated that Government was under pressure to deliver, and they owe it to the people to reverse the so-called resource curse, and ensure that Sierra Leoneans derive the required benefits from mining. He expressed hope that, with renewed determination and the willingness to work together, the Marampa mines would make meaningful contribution to Government revenue and provide other benefits for the local communities.
The Executive Chairman and CEO of MLM, Craig Dean, maintained that the company was committed to fulfilling its obligations and supporting Government to achieve its development objectives. He pointed out that MLM had “overachieved” on all the commitments they made to Government under an MOU they signed earlier, and that the key objective of the company moving forward was to increase Marampa production rate to 3.25 million wmt per annum, with possible future expansion to 7 million wmt per annum, and further exploration. The Executive Chairman ended by assuring the delegation that the company was committed to sustaining the project, and would ensure that it never shuts down regardless of price volatility.
The Chairman of the NMA Board of Directors, Alhaji Hadji Dabo, expressed satisfaction with the projections, and noted that, if the company hits the target of 7million wmt per annum, it would be good for the Sierra Leone economy and the sustainability of the project. He assured them of the full support of the NMA and the Government.
NMA Director General, Julius Daniel Mattai, noted that Government and the company had come a long way, and that now that they have found a common ground and were speaking the same language, it was an opportunity for them to utilize the skills and talents on all sides to achieve the objectives that would ensure a win-win outcome.
At the LRMG mining site at Ferenbeya in Dansogoia chiefdom, Tonkolili district, the NMA Board and Management discussed production and expansion plans with the Management of the company. The company informed the team that they were working on upgrading their production plant for Phase 2 iron ore production, as well as building a Gravity Separation Plant with a back-up Dry Plant for the tailings storage materials. These projects, when completed, would increase the shippable grade from 57% to 62%, or even more. They assured the team that with the above improvements the company would increase production to a minimum of 4 million to 6 million tonnes of 62% per annum. This, they noted, would increase Government revenue and other benefits to the community and the country.
The two companies are projected to provide employment for over 3,000 Sierra Leoneans.
The visiting team included the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Alhaji Hadji Dabo, Board Director Mustapha Turay, Board Director Musa Mewa, NMA Director General, Julius Daniel Mattai, NMA Deputy Director General, Kelvin Anderson, the Director of Mines, Peter Bangura, the Director of Communication and Community Affairs, Ibrahim Satti Kamara, and the Deputy Director of Geological Survey, Joseph Lebbie.
NMA Communication Team