AML pays Le 325 M to affected farmers
African Minerals has dished out a whopping Le325 million as compensation to some farmers whose crops and settlements are likely to be affected by its operations around Wondugu village in the Tonkolili district, northern Sierra Leone.
The farmers, farmland and crops, expected to be affected by a proposed relocation plan, were particularly close to the railway, the mining sites and possibly too near to the fuel depot of the company.
Earlier, an assessment by the appropriate authorities in the ministry of agriculture was carried out using standard procedures. Also, a parallel assessment was also carried out, in collaboration with crop owners, by community liaison officers of AML who prepared the assessment forms to be witnessed by chiefs and other authorities in the area.
Payments were openly made in cheque for the purpose of transparency and accountability, while Guarantee Trust Bank cashed the cheque and paid the farmers there and then to ensure that thorough and alternative records, independent of the company’s, were put in place.
Meanwhile, the Tonkolili project update and outlook are auspiciously promising. Commissioning and remedial activities are in progress for the Tonkolili Phase I project, which remains on course to deliver first ore on ship in the final quarter of 2011. The project capacity has been expanded from 12 to 15 million tonnes per annum with 12 million tonnes production target in 2012.
According to interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2011 which makes reference to the recent landmark signing of final agreements for $1.5 billion Shandong Iron and Steel Group investment.
Besides, c$90 million equipment financing facility has been completed with The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd. A term sheet has been agreed upon and a mandate executed with Standard Bank to provide $100m of subordinated stand-by facility, with 8 million tonnes of off take over a 3-year period.
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