Mines minister refutes claims of monopoly over rail and port

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      Mines Minister,Julius Mattai, is not jittery of

                                                                                          

In a recent press conference, the Minister of Mines in Sierra Leone, Julius Mattai, emphatically refuted claims by CTC regarding monopolization allegations against Leone Rock Metal Group (LRMG) of the rail and port.  The Minister commended LRMG for its significant contributions to the country’s economic, environmental, and social development through substantial royalties, licenses, tax payments and CSR. He highlighted LRMG’s adherence to regulations, the Mining Act, and lease agreements, portraying the company as a responsible mining entity that prioritizes compliance and national development.

Dispelling rumors of monopolistic practices, the Minister reiterated LRMG’s exemplary track record and underscored the company’s commitment to upholding its agreements. Addressing outstanding issues, LRMG has signed MoU with CTC in terms of bulk cargo transshipment on 17th March, 2023. This consensus turns into fixed agreement of bauxite shipment collaboration on 17th June, 2023. Then, LRMG completed the said loading of cargo on 22nd August, and vessal departed on 23rd August, 2023. Howerver, CTC has yet to pay the service fees to LRMG. After letters of notification on the issue of unfulfiled payment to CTC without any response, LRMG sued CTC to the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. In recent development, LRMG won this lawsuit against CTC validating its legitimacy.

It can be recalled that LRMG Launched the Upgrade and Reconstruction Project for Railway & Port operations on November 5, 2023, a pivotal moment for Sierra Leone’s mining infrastructure. With a notable investment of $153 million USD, the project signifies LRMG’s dedication to elevating operational standards to international levels and allowing third parties access to the rail and port.

In recent interviews, Salim Sillah, the Chief Technical Officer of LRMG, announced the efficiency and capacity enhancement in rail and port operations after the rehabilitation and expansion which also fostered a conductive environment for all stakeholders, including third-party users with interest.

Through collaborative efforts and sustainable practices, LRMG sets a commendable precedent for responsible mining operations and industry advancement.

LRMG has emphasize its willingness to engage with potential third-party users in commercial terms that benefits all sides including the government and people of Sierra Leone.

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