Marampa Produces its First Iron Ore in 30 Years
Leading mining company London Mining has announced the start of iron ore production at its Marampa mine, stating that it is on track to ship its first exports by the end of the year.
The company expects production at Marampa to reach over 160,000 tonnes per month during the first half of 2012, with a production target of 1.8 million tonnes for the year. “This is a landmark day for London Mining and Sierra Leone”, said Graeme Hossie, Chief Executive Officer of London Mining continuing, “The production of high specification iron ore product from our plant at Marampa after decades of mine inactivity marks the beginning of our ramp up and forms the basis for our phased expansions.”
Ahead of first shipment, London Mining’s entire logistics operation is in the final stages of commissioning. Bollore Logistics Africa has commissioned a truck haulage fleet, driver training has taken place and the entire length of the 40km haul road made ready for movement of concentrate. The tug and barge fleet, which will move ore downriver from Port Loko, arrived in November, and training and commissioning is in progress, while completion of the Thofeyim port will allow barge loading from December. Along the entire length of the barging route dredging and rock removal has been undertaken to ensure free passage for vessels. In Korea construction of London Mining’s “Pride of Marampa” 150,000 tonnes transhipment vessel is nearing completion, with delivery planned for early 2012. Its arrival will lead to greater efficiency by enabling the loading of larger capacity Capesize ships.
Said Mr. Hossie, “Sierra Leone has a huge mineral potential… the country needs foreign investment to help develop those”. London Mining employs 2,400 workers at Marampa, including contractors, over 90 percent of whom are Sierra Leonean. He noted the great support that the Government of Sierra Leone has given his company concluding, “This is very significant for Sierra Leone as well as for London Mining, Sierra Leone is now back producing high specification iron ore.”
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