The Sierra Rutile Holdings Limited has announced suspension of its Area 1 operations and commenced redundancy Program.

The company confirmed that further to its announcement dated 29th February 2024 about the 2023 annual financial report has now suspended all mining and processing activities at its Area 1 operations and will commence a process of engagement with the Government of Sierra Leone and staff that will result in approximately 25% of staff, including expatriates being issued with redundancy notices by the end of March 2024.

The action, according to the company is said to be a prompt response to both ongoing weak market conditions and uncertainty regarding the fiscal regime applicable to Area 1 operations.

However, the company is optimistic that the suspension of operations will be brief, and an agreement will be reached with the Government of Sierra Leone on an appropriate fiscal regime that would again support production alongside supportive Rutile market conditions.

Should this not be achieved in the coming weeks, the company will need to consider the full closure of mining operations at Area 1 which will impact the great majority of the remaining workforce as well as potentially, a large number of personnel employed by various contractors.

The company will for the main time continue to monetise its finished goods inventories in the ordinary course of business and will use these funds to fund statutory termination benefits to members of the workforce that are made redundant.

Sierra Rutile Holdings Limited continues to advance the definitive feasibility study for the Sebehun project, results of which are expected to be announced in April 2024.

In the event that Area 1 operations move to full closure, the Company may look to undertake a strategic review of its Sebehun project with the objective of maximising value for the benefit of all Sierra Rutile Stakeholders.

Sierra Rutile Holdings Limited (SRX) is a Multi – Mineral Sands Operation straddling the Bonthe and Moyamba Districts in Southern Sierra Leone with over 2000 employees, representing one of the largest private employers in Sierra Leone.

The Company also holds ownership of rutile deposits, the Sebehun project.