London Mining has delivered on its promise to rebuild the Marampa mine, which was officially opened this week, drawing investors’ attention back to the potential of Sierra Leone’s iron industry.
At the opening ceremony, which was attended by president of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma, chief executive of London Mining Mr Graeme Hossie outlined the company’s ambitious plans to expand the mine’s capacity. He also offered a bullish outlook for iron ore producers, noting that steel demand from emerging economies such as China, India and Latin American countries is on the rise. Mr Hossie said that “The demand for iron ore is growing and it is growing through the long term. There is a lot of iron ore around the world and much talk of new supply but who is really doing it now? And who is producing a high quality product? We are doing this here and now. And we will be growing.” London Mining is currently building a second plant, which is expected to be operational within one year, boosting production to five million tonnes per annum.
The company has so far invested US$300 million in Marampa. A further USD 2 billion will be invested in the mining operation over the next ten years to expand its production capacity to nine mtpa and 16 mtpa, over ten times the output of the historical mine. Mr Hossie said that “This means that Marampa is fast becoming a very big and very important mine on the worldwide stage indeed. This is important, as Marampa’s success is Sierra Leone’s success. This is a great success. Sierra Leone can now once again say – it is a ‘land of iron’. Because of Marampa, the world now knows this again.”