By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Marampa Mines Limited (MML) has made a historic donation of Old Le 38,000,000,000 as Community Development Fund (CDF) to the Marampa and Maforki Chiefdoms.
The company also awarded scholarships to one hundred and ninty indigenous pupils and students from across different learning institutions.
The donation is pursuant to its Community Development Agreement (CDA) as required by the Mines and Mineral Act, to support local development initiatives in their primary host communities of Marampa and Maforki Chiefdoms in Port Loko District.
The CDF represents Marampa Mines Limited (MML), commitment in its Mining Lease Agreement to give 1% of its Free on Board revenue generated to its primary host communities for eligible development projects, including but not limited to, education,health, environment and economic development.
The main aim of the CDF is to aid local initiatives and projects that aim to see improve the quality of life for residents of the communities around their mining concession who play host to the company.
In his keynote statement and official launch of the CDF, President Bio noted that two years back, his government fell out with Marampa Mines, which has in turned become a good for all.
He applauded the company for its intervention in the areas of disaster mitigation, health sector, agriculture, education and infrastructure development,among others.
He expressed appreciation for the recruitment style of the company, upon employing over 18% of women, which he said is above global average of 15%.
He boasted of his government tremendous and outstanding performance in the mining sector.
“Today, I am here to give you what you have been deprived of for almost hundred years,” he told the people of the two Chiefdoms.
He said by the time the 1.7 billion tons of iron ore reserve is extracted the two communities will have all the basic necessities they needed.
In his statement, Craig Dean, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Gerald Group and Marampa Mines Limited, said the payment of CDF will be the largest in the history of the country.
“Payment of CDF is extremely important to the MML. We don’t want to ever shut down again and we crave on the indulgence of the Government of it continues support to the company,” he said.
CEO Craig Dean disclosed that there is over 1.7 Billion Dollars’ tons of iron ore reserve in Marampa, adding that to extract that hundreds of millions of dollars is needed and thousands of people are also needed.
He said one of the company’s plans is to improve on electricity supply of all towns within the mining company.
Host Paramount Chief, P.C Koblo Queen 11 reiterated on the importance of the historic donation. He acclaimed President Bio for the law instituted under his watch which led to the historic donation of the CDF.
Paramount Chief of Maforki Chiefdom, Port Loko District, P.C Bai Forki Fainka 11 promised that his Chiefdom’s share of the 1% CDF will be utilized judiciously.
He, on behalf of his Chiefdom people, thanked President Bio for his developmental strides since he took over governance in 2018.
Acting Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Madam Ann-Marie Prince Harding said the payment of the CDF will serve as a testament of President Bio’s astute leadership.
She informed the gathering that employment rate in the mining sector has exponentially transformed with the MML presently employing over 2000 people of which Sierra Leoneans made up of over 90%.
Marampa Mines Limited (MML) produces 65% of high grade iron ore concentrate, branded Marampa Blue. The company operates near Lunsar in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone.
MML is owned and operated by Gerald Group which has a 90% stake and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has 10% stake.
MML is committed to building a resident and world class iron ore company and a premium grade Sierra Leone iron ore concentrate brand together with the GoSL and all it stakeholders, while contributing to the country’s economy.
The company has been projected to be soon stable and significant contributor to the country’s revenues and economy through job creation, training and development of people and local supply chains, investment in the community – bringing economic prospects and new opportunities to Sierra Leoneans.
MML exported 1.35WMT of high grade iron ore concentrate by 31st of March 2022 since shipment re-started in June 2021. Employees in the company, grew from 80 around May 2021, to 900 by December of 2021, 1000 by January 2022 and 2000 to 2,400 direct and indirect employees by September of 2022.