President of Republic of Sierra Leone commissions Marampa Mines expansion project

His Excellency Brigadier Rtd. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, has commissioned a 3.25mn dry metric tonnes per annum (Mdtpa) output iron ore concentrate expansion project at the Marampa mine site

MML Program 5 reducedThe commissioning of the expansion project was attended by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and other dignitaries and officials. (image source: Marampa Mines)

Marampa Mines Limited (MML), is a subsidiary of Gerald Group in Lunsar in the Port Loko district. President Bio met with the principals of Gerald, management of Gerald and MML, staff and stakeholders and toured MML’s mining areas and processing plant.

Construction of the M3.25 expansion completed in March, and with the expansion and ramp up, the total number of direct and indirect employees on site has increased to more than 2000..

In his keynote statement, HE President Bio said, “I am pleased to have commissioned the M3.25 expansion at Marampa Mines today. As a country, we have had to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted global economies and supply chains. But with the Marampa mine back in full scale operations, exports of high value products such as Marampa Blue iron ore concentrate from Sierra Leone will increase year on year and deliver a long-awaited boost to the economic growth and stability of our country. I share my sense of hope and confidence with all of you for the continued success of the Marampa mines and for new inward investment in our natural resources sectors across Sierra Leone.”

Craig Dean, chairman and CEO, Gerald Group and Marampa Mines Limited said, “I would like to thank His Excellency President Bio, the Government and our stakeholders for their strong confidence and support in Marampa Mines Limited over the past year, as well as our management and staff who are deeply committed to the expansion programme underway. Our shared vision is to optimise the beneficiation of up to ~1.7 billion tonnes of compliant resources in the new Marampa, which combines Marampa North and South concessions, bringing additional revenues to the GoSL and creating opportunities by developing a sustainable and resilient mining operation so Sierra Leoneans significantly benefit from MML’s growth and success.”

Keynote statements were also made by Mr Timothy Musa Kabba – Hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Mr. Alpha Kanu – Hon. Resident Minister of the North-western Region, Queen Kabia II – Paramount Chief of Marampa Chiefdom and Elaine French, Chargé d’affairs, U.S. Embassy, Freetown.

Frederic Lotti, MML’s chief operating officer explained, “The M3.25 expansion mainly includes the addition of a new feed point and a new product line to accommodate the additional feed and product volume, as well as the addition of new set of spiral blocks to increase processing capacity, and an expansion of the mining fleet with large 90MT capacity excavators to increase mine volume rate.”

Gerald Group plans to further expand MML’s output to 7 Mdtpa (M7) within the next year, bringing material capital investment to the country. As part of the expansion process, options to access additional power and renewable or lower carbon intensive sources of energy is under consideration. Discussion for operational access to Pepel’s rail and port facilities are underway and will contribute significantly to MML’s streamlining of export operations and reduction in carbon footprint, key components to ensure the future competitiveness and sustainability of the mining operations.

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