Freetown, 11 June 2010 - The Ministry of Mineral Resources & Political Affairs of the Government of Sierra Leone is pleased to announce the confirmation of the discovery of 321 million metric tonnes of Bauxite in the Port Loko District.
Historically, Alusuisse AG through Bayer Preussag initiated geological exploration of the Port Loko Bauxite prospect in the early 1970ís.
The Port Loko Bauxite occurs at the mid-point of the Bullom Group of rocks striking North-West from the Sherbro Minerals area of Mokaiyi through YONI, MASIMERA, MAFORKI, BUREH KASSEH, MAKONI in the Port Loko District on to Magbema, Tonko Limba, Bramaia and across the border into Guinea.
The South-West part of the deposits form around MOKANJI where Sierra Minerals Ltd have re-opened the defunct Sieromco Mines with an annual output of about 1.2 million tonnes in a total reserve estimate of 71 million metric tonnes.
The Port Loko deposit was re-examined by Jupiter Resources between 1994-1997 but the project was abandoned due to the military interregnum.
A licence was issued to SLEMCO, Sierra Leone Exploration and Mining Company in June 2009. The company undertook reconfirmation drilling and trenching to prove the original deposit estimates of 104 million metric tonnes in partnership with the ABG Group of India.
Both ABG and SLEMCO use satellite imagery technology to authenticate the drill data.
The companies are pleased to announce that the satellite data used to control the drill results have proven them to be accurate.
Therefore, let me recognize the effort of our very own young geologists, Mr. Mohamed Kamara and Mr. Mustapha Tarawalie who walked along side their senior counterparts from India for a job well done.
ABG has informed us that they will commence mobilization for mines development as early as July 2010. Export of the project is proposed to be in two phases.
Phase I - Early cash flow mining of Bauxite for export in first quarter of 2011 [Q-1].
Phase II - Preparation for the installation of an alumina refinery for value addition.
The economic and social impact on the community and the nation in general will be tremendous.
Jobs will be created; revenue with be generated and many social programmes such as schools and clinics will be embarked upon.
The structure of the company and the operations will be in complete compliance with the Mines and Minerals Acts, 2009.
In addition to ABG and SLEMCO, the Government of Sierra Leone will be a shareholder with a free carried interest.
Let me on behalf of H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Government and people of Sierra Leone welcome to Sierra Leone, the ABG Group led by Major (rtd) Arun Phatak, President & CEO and Mr. Dhananjay Dhatar, the Chief Finance Officer.
Ladies and gentleman, this project would not have come to fruition without the relentless efforts and fruition of our two brothers, Mr. Mohamed Alieu Sesay, Chairman of SLEMCO and Mr. Samir Patel, the CEO of SLEMCO.