By Alusine Sesay
Leone Rock Metal Group has on Friday, March 17, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CTC Mining, a Bauxite company, for the export of Bauxite Ore through the Pepel Port to the international market.
“Well, today Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to officially announce to you that Kingho Railway and Port Company has successfully signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CTC Mining (SL) Limited, which is a new Bauxite mining company for the export of their Bauxite Ore through the Pepel Port. This is a historic moment because for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone has two mining companies of different entities worked together to agree to use the same service for the economic development of Sierra Leone,” said Salim Sillah,Director,CEO’s Office,Kingho Mining.
Acknowledging the healthy business environment created by the government, Salim Sillah noted that, “This achievement will not be possible without the willingness of the Government of Sierra Leone to design our agreement in such a way that gives us the right to expand the capacity of the Railway and Port to enable us to open the service to multiple users along the railway corridor through commercial agreement between our company and third-party users as agreed in Section 4.03 of the agreement.
He said based on the dictate of the MOU , Kingho Railway and Port Company shall provide an export slot possibly by the beginning of May 2023 for the export of a 175,000 T capesize vessel as part of the immediate term plan.
“Moreover, within two (2) weeks of the signing of this MOU today, KRP will provide CTC timelines for an export slot for the services that KRP will provide including: The provision of a stockyard in the Port for CTC bauxite storage, the use of the current conveyor loading system to deliver bauxite to the jetty, and the use of KRP’s trans-shipment fleet to load the capesize vessels,” he said.
He said after the successful completion of the first shipment, KRP and CTC will work together to develop a plan for CTC to export more shipments until the long-term plan is operational.
Sillah noted that the short-term plan is important due to the technical difficulties in handling Bauxite and Iron Ore using the same transport and ship loading facility as Bauxite can cause contamination that may have impact on Iron Ore grade.
“Leone Rock Metal Group has been tirelessly engaging not only CTC, but other mining operators along the railway corridor to develop similar mutual commercial agreement that will be a win-win for all companies but more especially for the Government and People of Sierra Leone. Our company believed the Government of Sierra Leone chose to sign a the management and operational right with Kingho Railway and Port Company due to our ability to rapidly transform the transport sector for the betterment of the mining industry,” he said.
He said the agreement will tremendously help CTC to grow rapidly as their export volume with be highly completive with other players but more importantly their transport and shipping cost will be lower which will increase their profit margin that will directly benefit the Government through increased royalty payment and socio-economic development.
“It is due to this trust the Government has impose in Leone Rock Metal Group that gives us the confidence to invest even more. Today mark a historic day for the development and advancement of the Bulk Mineral Mining Industry in Sierra Leone. To invest in mining bulk mineral commodity, you need to have access to a sustainable and cheap transport system and a reliable port to export your ore,” he concluded.