Gerald Group’s Sierra Leone mine ships iron ore to China after restart
Gerald Group’s subsidiary Marampa Mines Limited restarted mining and processing on September 1 after the trader resolved a dispute with the Sierra Leonean government that led it to shut down the mine in September 2019.
Gerald Group paid the government $ 10 million as a first installment of the $ 20 million payment agreed to as part of the settlement, he said on Friday.
Marampa will increase production of iron ore concentrate from 2 million tonnes per year to 3.25 million tonnes per year within 12 months, the company said.
Marampa’s first capesize ship – the largest cargo ships – set sail Thursday evening carrying more than 175,000 wet metric tonnes of iron ore concentrate.
“Loading capesize ships will dramatically improve the efficiency of our overall supply chain, a key objective not only to reduce our operating costs, but also to advance our ESG plan and minimize our carbon footprint,” said Frédéric Lotti, COO of Marampa Mines.
Prices for iron ore, which is the main ingredient in steel production, have skyrocketed over the past year to record highs of $ 240 per tonne in May, driven by strong demand from China .
China is looking for new sources of iron ore in a trade war with its main supplier, Australia. Botswana was a recent addition to China’s growing list of suppliers.
(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Mark Potter)