Gerald Group’s Restarted Sierra Leone Mine is reported to be heading to Top Steel Producer in China.

Gerald Group subsidiary Marampa Mines Limited restarted mining and processing on Sept. 1 after the trader resolved a dispute with the Sierra Leone government that had caused it to shut the mine down in September 2019.

Marampa’s first capesize vessel, the largest cargo ships, set sail on Thursday evening carrying more than 175,000 Wet Metric Tones of Iron Ore Concentrate.

According to the Company, Gerald Group has paid $10 million to the government in a first installment of the $20 million payment agreed as part of the settlement.

“Marampa will raise production of Iron Ore Concentrate from 2 million to 3.25 million tonnes a year within 12 months. Loading capesize vessels will materially improve efficiencies in our overall supply chain, a key objective not only in reducing our operating cost but also in advancing our ESG plan and minimizing our carbon footprint,” said Marampa Mines chief operating officer Frederic Lotti.

Prices for Iron Ore, which is the main ingredient in steel production, have soared over the past year to reach record highs of $240 per tone in May, driven by strong demand from China.

China has been seeking new sources of iron ore amid a trade war with its top supplier Australia. Botswana was a recent addition to China’s growing list of suppliers.