From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, New Bauxite Mining Exercise to be Announced
By Arnold Akibo-Betts
Jun 7, 2010, 19:00

A brand new, economically viable, Port Loko Bauxite Mining exercise will soon open under the aegis of the Sierra Leone Exploration Mining Company (SLEMCO) which has undergone extensive work in Port Loko that now indicates a discovery of well over 300 million tons of proven bauxite reserves. The findings are reported to be so lucrative that an Investment group known as ABG Shipyard of India is all set to launch a massive joint venture with SLEMCO for the mining of Bauxite in Sierra Leone.

The Joint Venture is reported to be all set to start large scale mining operations within the next four to seven months as a result of extensive, quiet work by the Chairman of SLEMCO Mr. Alieu Mohamed Sesay, a ruling party strongman, formerly of APC Radio’s ‘On Target’ programme.

Information reaching this medium is that SLEMCO is reporting that there are indications of even more bauxite reserves of an additional almost two hundred million tons.

This will be of one of the biggest bauxite operations in West Africa. ABG Shipyard, a multi-billion dollar company in India already plans to invest almost a cool billion dollars into the Sierra Leone economy. An initial pegged amount of one to two hundred million dollars is already in place to launch the first phase of the operation with an additional four to eight hundred million dollars for the construction of the aluminum plant that will be built in Port Loko to extract the bauxite.

Mr. Allieu Mohamed Sesay

It is also reported that all the exploration and drawing of the map was done by a Sierra Leonean geologist which information has been cross-checked and endorsed by world-renowned geologists.

This project has a huge potential for the country not only earning high revenue for the state but will also create job opportunities for Sierra Leoneans; an estimated one to two thousand jobs will be directly created by SLEMCO with an indirect expected multiple effect of over ten thousand jobs.

Sources in Government say that the country is just now waiting for the official announcement from ABG and the SLEMCO. Already, sources at the Mines Ministry say that the Mines Minister, Alpha Kanu is extremely ecstatic about the discovery done by the Sierra Leonean geologist. It is reported that the local geologists results were analyzed and certified by an India company associated with international space research organization (ISRO).

"This is a great news for the country especially as a high powered delegation of ABG investors will be in Freetown this week from India; we are expecting a wonderful announcement that will keep the country smiling and smiling and smiling," a source at the Mines Ministry confided to this writer.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.