The Government of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 17th January 2023, signed the Pepel Port and Pepel – Tonkolili Railway development, expansion and management lease agreement with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd.

According to the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba, this agreement is part of the bigger reforms in the mining sector, where the government intends to open the space for more players to participate.

He affirms that ARISE is a credible company with a reputation for developing and managing infrastructure in Africa and according to him, “agreement is taking a government asset from monopoly to be more accessible.”

Minister Kabba discussed that the revival of the mining operation requires significant investment in infrastructure for the country to fully benefit from the growth of its mining output and that the project will expand economic activities by providing jobs for Sierra Leoneans and enable passengers’ locomotion from Tonkolili through Bombali to the Port Loko district.

This lease agreement will give a 10% free Carry to the Government of Sierra Leone and provide access to rail and port facilities to other bulk mineral producers in the northern corridor.

In his statement, the Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura stated that ARISE IIP is a sector specialist firm with a proven record across Africa in managing infrastructure noting that the agreement was signed after several consultations, due diligence and approval from the cabinet with concurrence from the Ministry of Finance.e.

He furthered that the agreement is in the best interest of the government and people of Sierra Leone which will be ratified by the parliament.

The business plan, financial model and pre-feasibility studies are estimated at a total investment of 476 million dollars, covering the refurbishment of the Pepel Tonkolili Railway work, Pepel Port, Railway connectivity to Marampa mines, the introduction of passenger rail services and the rail connection to Guinea.

Signing for ARISE IIP, Managing Director, Jesper Harring Boll stated that ARISE is a conceiver, developer and operator of high-added-value infrastructure committed to making Africa thrive with an investment of several billion dollars and a good track record across many countries in Africa like Benin, Togo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Tchad, RoC, DRC or Rwanda.

He emphasized that the company identifies gaps in African countries that unlock value and create new industries to create local transformation and maximize production, efficiency and cost to generate growth and local value addition.