Sierra Leone govt in loan dispute with Titanium Resources subsidiary
Titanium Resources Group (TRG) has suspended funding for the subsidiary that manages its Sierra Rutile mine, in Sierra Leone, while discussions with the government of that country regarding a loan were continuing.
TRG told shareholders in a statement that the government of Sierra Leone claimed that the subsidiary had failed to make certain interest payments.
However, the subsidiary disputed this claim, saying that there was an agreed moratorium on the loan payments, as the government and the subsidiary were in discussions regarding the loan.
It would, however, be able to make all outstanding interest payments if requested to do so by the government.
Discussions were, in the meantime, ongoing.
“The disagreement between [the subsidiary] and the government of Sierra Leone is unfortunate, but based on recent interaction with the government, I am hopeful it can be resolved in short order,” said TRG executive chairperson Wayne Malouf.
TRG had, so far, spent $150 000 of the $20-million earmarked for the implementation of the Dredge D3 expansion at the Sierra Rutile mine.
The majority of the funds spent relate to design and cost analysis to determine ways to reduce capital costs and improve operating efficiency, stated TRG.
Meanwhile, the group said that output at the mine had been steadily improving, since certain disruptions had been corrected.
Production at the mine had been adversely affected by disruptions at the Dredge D1 and the D1 wet plant in the first six months of the year.
Rutile output from the mine was expected to be between 64 000 t and 70 000 t for the full year. The mine had produced 37 164 t of rutile in the seven months of this year.
Ilmenite output for the year would be in line with the targeted 15 000 t for the full year, while zircon production would amount to about 9 100 t for the year.
Chanel de Bruyn
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