Marampa Mines Limited announces its first Capesize sets sail from Freetown Port carrying over 175,000 WMT of premium grade.

Marampa Mines Limited, (“MML”, “Marampa Mines” or “the Company”) a subsidiary of Gerald Group (“Gerald”), one of the world’s leading metals merchants, has completed loading of its first Capesize and set sail carrying over 175,000 WMT of premium grade iron ore concentrate.

The Capesize, M.V. Athenian Phoenix, completed cargo loading and departed from Freetown Outer Anchorage on the 28 October 2021.

Gerald has implemented a new logistics solution for marine transportation of material from MML’s own Thofeyim River Terminal to Freetown Port Harbour, by purchasing its own fleet of river coasters and a transhipper, thereby enhancing efficiencies in the export logistics process.

This export solution does not rely on 3rd party contracted river barges or smaller geared Ocean-Going Vessels which are less efficient.  With the new logistics solution, Capesize vessels are able to be loaded efficiently at a deep-water anchorage at Freetown Harbour on a consistent and stable basis.

Frederic Lotti, Marampa Mines’ COO and the Group’s Global Head of Investments, said: “I am pleased that ‘Marampa BlueTM’ high grade iron ore concentrate routed through the Thofeyim River Terminal and the Loko river completed loading on a Capesize vessel for the very first time in the history of Marampa, and set sail on Thursday evening, the 28 October 2021. 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 minimising our carbon footprint”.

Timothy Musa Kabba, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources in the Sierra Leone Government, added: “Sierra Leone’s economic growth is largely based on export earnings from natural resources, particularly from iron ore. My ministry continues to work on the development of the mines and mineral resources sector at a key time in Sierra Leone’s pathway to economic stability and recovery. The restart of Marampa Mines represents a crucial step forward in our new direction”.

With the export of the current Capesize, Marampa Mines is about two-thirds through exporting its initial “Stockpile” of ~707k tonnes of iron ore concentrate, beneficiated by SL Mining Limited and known as Marampa BlueTM, following an out of court settlement, which ended a long-standing dispute between the Government of Sierra Leone and SL Mining.

As per the “Contract Regarding Sale of Iron Ore Stockpile” signed on 25 May 2021 pursuant to the binding settlement signed on 7 May 2021, the Company has paid USD 10 million to the Government on 29 October 2021, the first installment of a fixed sum of USD 20 million as the Stockpile is monetised, and the second installment of USD 10 million by 31 December 2021.

Marampa Mines successfully restarted mining and processing of Marampa BlueTM on 1 September 2021, and will raise production of >65% iron ore concentrate from 2M tonnes per year to 3.25M tonnes per year within 12 months. MML will concurrently look at options to implement major expansions to leverage on its compliant mineral resources of approximately 1.7B tonnes of ore.

Today, MML employs around 800 people on-site, of which approximately 90% are Sierra Leoneans, and the Project is expected to create a total of 1,400 jobs by early 2022.  The Company is implementing a comprehensive modular training program for Sierra Leonean staff, including training women for the workforce and within the community.