London/Marampa, 28 June 2018- SL Mining Ltd (“SL Mining”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gerald Group, based in the Port Loko district in the northern province of Sierra Leone, West Africa and China National Electric Engineering Co. (“CNEEC”) today signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract at a ceremony in Beijing, China, attended by Craig Dean, Chairman and CEO of Gerald Group and Chairman of SL Mining and Frederic Lotti, Senior Vice President, Gerald Group and President Zhang Yanfei and General Manager Li Zhigang for CNEEC.
The agreement is a commitment to the construction of both phases of the engineering, procurement and financing of the SL Mining project for an overall investment programme of approximately US$ 300 million. SL Mining’s plan has been to re-commission this mine in the first quarter of 2019, and executing this agreement helps ensure this goal will be achieved. In the initial phase, the project will directly and indirectly create 1,000 local jobs, increasing in the second phase to over 1,800 jobs locally. SL Mining aims to source at least 90 per cent of its staff locally, a higher proportion than ever before, and to implement a robust training programme for its workers.
Gerald Group owns the mining licenses and land leases for the project under its wholly owned subsidiary SL Mining, which is engaged in the exploration, development and production of iron ore concentrate. The Marampa mine located in the Port Loko District in Sierra Leone, has a production capacity of 5.4 million wet metric tonnes of iron ore per annum. The Group is undertaking a full technical and operational review of the project to rehabilitate and upgrade the plant to produce a 65 per cent Fe concentrate grade. Phase I will see approximately 2mtpa of high-grade concentrate production while Phase II will involve expansion to 6 mtpa. The project has over one billion tonnes of indicated and inferred resources and a life of mine of over 30 years.