Following a potential delay to the project schedule as a result of an alleged congestion issues at the Freetown Port, London Mining has announced the completion of the final section of the purpose-built haul road connecting their Marampa mine site with the Port Loko River.
The completion work is expected this month, putting the Company on track to begin exporting before the end of the year.
Once started, the company expects to produce 3.6 million tonnes of iron ore in its initial year, rising to 16 million tonnes by 2017; six times the peak quantity produced before the site closed in 1975.
The extracted concentrate will be carried by truck on the haul-road to a newly constructed port on the Port Loko River, from where it will be barged downstream to a trans-shipment point in the Freetown Bay, there it will be loaded onto large capacity cargo ships (known as Capesize vessels) for export.
London Mining has arranged shipping contracts securing tugs, barges and a transshipment vessel capable of loading ships at a rate of 20,000 tons per day, and capable of being expanded to 60,000 tons per day.
The deal provides barging capacity in time for the first shipments from Marampa, with the transshipment vessel in place by March 2012 six months earlier than the company originally envisaged.
Commenting on the agreements made so far, the Chief Executive Officer Graeme Hossie said, “These arrangements secure transshipment capacity for the export of premium sinter feed concentrate from Sierra Leone this year and enable the use of Capesize vessels from the first quarter of 2012. Importantly this solution can be easily scaled up as we expand to accommodate our full production capacity plan of 16 million tonnes per annum from the Marampa mine.”
He maintained that London Mining has also separately signed an off take agreement with the trading house Glencore International, guaranteeing purchase of, and shipping from Sierra Leone for all Phase 1a production, an important development for the Marampa project, providing the company with guaranteed income, positive working capital and an external validation of the high quality of the company’s product.
Mr. Hossie said that the completion of these important stages in production, transportation and sales will help to underwrite London Mining’s $2 billion investment plan for its Lunsar mine, reinforcing it ambitions to play a big part in improving Sierra Leone’s economic fu
By Poindexter Sama