Sierra Rutile significantly shifted from its traditional 45 year old wet mining practice of extracting rutile through basic dredging operations, and moved to a more modern practice of dry mining last weekend, by launching its multi million dollar Lanti dry mining plant.
Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Rutile, John BonohSisaydisclosed that a study commissioned by the Company revealed the potential for a dry mining project to extract the small high grade pockets of ore at the edge of the existing Lanti wet mining operation which were inaccessible to the dredge.Head of Operations Andy Taylor disclosed that work on the project started back in 2011 and at the cost of 40 million dollars the plant was completed in 2012.
CEO John BonohSisay explained that this is the Company’s first expansion project, which he acknowledged was achieved on “budget” and “ahead of time.”
HadjiDabo Technical Service Manager said “This new set of plants with the state of the art equipment is expected to increase the current Rutile production capacity of the company by some 30% and will contribute over 26% of the expected total annual production,”
The Dry Mining Team tested the Concentrator unit ahead of their initial schedule and recorded that the Lanti Dry Mining plant has the capacity to process 500 tonnes per hour andis likely toprocess in excess of 3.5million tonnes of ore annually.
With a mine life of at least 7 years the Lanti Dry Mining plant is expected to produce 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes of natural rutile and 6,000 to 9,000 tonnes of ilmenite per year.
Head of Operations Andy Taylor noted that the company might need to employ at least 400 skilled workers to mann the site which is expected to operate on a 24 hour/365 days basis.
CEO Sisay says this “means we will be employing more people and pay more to workers and the government.”
The company has already started work on its next dry mining project named the “Gangama Dry Mining initiative.”