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SMHL Vimetco Engages Government on Multi-Million Dollar Alumina Hydrate Project inception in Sierra Leone
Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco), a bauxite mining company in Moyamba, held several meetings with Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Mines in Freetown during first week of April 2019 regarding the company’s plan of expansion with the construction of a value-added alumina tri hydrate plant within its concession. Except production of Aluminium, alumina tri-hydrate is also widely used in refractory industry, ceramics industry, for water purification, serves as flame retardant filler and as polishing compound, etc. The construction of such plant equipped with modern technology will be the first precedent in the development of the mining industry in the country and a unique industrial facility in West Africa. For the Southern province of Sierra Leone and the country as a whole, this initiative means creation of new job opportunities and development of infrastructure – construction of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, etc. Currently Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) provides more than 1,500 jobs, supports orphanages, schools and major social events in the country. Also, Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) contributes 1% of its revenue (which happens to be the highest in the mining industry), i.e. in average 5 billion Leones, towards community and social development. Under umbrella of Community Development Committee, Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) builds hospital, markets, water wells, social complex with conference hall and cinema, etc. The Company contributes around 75 billion Leones annually for major taxes.
In the course of development of alumina tri-hydrate project, existing infrastructure within and around the concession is expected to be renovated to support and meet the demand of the new value-added industry.
Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) initiative will be supported by pan-African bank of development, Afreximbank, whose delegates also participated in meetings with above mentioned Ministries.
On Thursday, 04th of April 2019, His Excellency Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone held a working meeting with management of Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) and delegates of Afreximbank, where details of the project were presented. The initiative of the aforementioned project was welcomed by The President.
Afreximbank was officially appointed by the Company to act as the financial advisor and lead mandated arranger in connection with raising capital for the project. An engagement letter was signed between Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) and Afreximbank in the presence of His Excellency Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone, as a symbolic official launch of the project.
Construction of the plant is scheduled to start in 2020 with the target to commence production in mid-2022. This project is expected to bring sustainability of operations of the Company in the country for at least another 20 years.