Leone Rock Metal Group seeking growth opportunities in West Africa

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Mr. Collin Ding, the President of Leone Rock Metal Group who was leading a high-level delegation to Conakry together with the Director-General of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, said on Monday 10th April 2023 that it was expanding its operations in Guinea and Liberia because of new opportunities in a number of commodities, including Iron Ore, Bauxite, and other base metals.

During the stay in Guinea this time, the delegation held fruitful discussions with several groups including high-ranking Guinean government officials, country manager of enterprise for mineral logistics, and exports with original ideas for the development for the mining sector in Guinea.

“We are expanding our West African operations, as the miner of the biggest iron project and operator of the rail and port infrastructure in Sierra Leone through its subsidiary groups, Kingho Mining and Kingho Railway and Port to access viable projects,” Gilbert Zhao, CEO of LEONE ROCK, Kingho’s Sierra Leone parent investment company, told news reporters in Conakry during an investment visit to the west African Nation.

LEONE ROCK, which has benefited from excellent government and community relations in Sierra Leone, will serve as a reference point for the other two west African countries. The Company’s investment model has brought about verifiable and tangible steps in the transformation of the iron ore industry in Sierra Leone.

A vertical integration  model that has seen an initial investment of over 500 million US Dollars transitioning from ore mining, processing, exporting and building a steel factory.

Contrary to the model of the previous operators of the Tonkolili mine, Leone Rock has in the past two weeks commissioned the construction of a 12 Million Metric Tons beneficiation plant and expansion of the rail and port infrastructures totaling around 400 million US Dollars. This investment decision is not only aiming at producing high concentrate iron ore of 62% or expanding the rail and port facilities for multiple users, but to build a regional sustainable strategy that will blossom the economies of iron rich nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

These  recent moves is fueled by the commodity demand tied in part to China’s rapid economic growth after Covid pandemic.

The Company’s Sierra Leone operator paid last week 1 million US Dollars to its mining host communities, at a ceremony attended by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio. This payment is in line with the company’s commitment to a community development agreement, says Salim Sillah, the group’s new Chief Technical Officer.

The new projects assessed by the company’s team in Conakry, if approved, will increase the investment portfolios of the group and place them among the biggest operators in the Sub-region.

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