Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 May 2021:
President of Kingho Energy Group, Colin Ding has promised to optimise the Tonkolili Iron Ore grade from 52% to more than 65% so that the company’s product will be globally competitive.
Mr Ding made this statement during a community engagement ceremony held in Bumbuna Town, Dasogoia Chiefdom – one of the mining chiefdoms in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone. “Our visit this time is to reveal Phase II of our project for the Tonkolili Iron Mine,” Mr Ding said, adding that phase two of the project is going to involve designing and building an optimization plant that will increase the grade and value of the Tonkolili Iron Ore from 52% to more than 65% Iron.
Mr Ding added that the designing and building of an optimization plant will be the first time in the history of the Tonkolili Mine that the iron ore mined will leave Sierra Leone with such a globally competitive grade. He said “Kingho is not here just to mine what we meet but we are also going to add value to what we mine right here in Sierra Leone.”
In addition, the Kingho President assured that once phase two starts, the product the company export will have higher value and there will be more revenue coming to the Government of Sierra Leone and the 1% paid to the communities will also increase.
Against this backdrop, the Kingho President used the opportunity to thank the stakeholders for their patience during the challenges the company was faced with. He said, “your support has provided comfort for us and increased our confidence to invest more and do more in terms of business development in the communities and increase our community development projects.”
CEO of Kingho Investment Company, Gilbert Zhao assured that what Kingho has started doing in its operations in the communities is just the beginning. He said that Kingho’s ambition is to grow stronger with the communities. He added that “the developments we will bring into your communities will benefit the youths, women and children as our community development support plans covers agriculture, health, education, water and sanitation.”
Director of Community Affairs Kingho Investment Company, Madam Judith Kosseh spoke about what the company has done in its three mining chiefdoms of Dasogoia, Simiria and Sambaia.
Paramount Chief of Dasogoia Chiefdom who chaired the meeting and spoke on behalf of the people of the mining communities emphasized the importance of the engagement meeting with the mining communities. He said the decision of the Kingho President to come from China and deliberate with them shows that the interest of the people is at the heartbeat of Kingho’s development programmes.
Biankay Bangura, one of the landowners from Simiria Chiefdom said that they are very optimistic that the model of community engagement Kingho has used will bring more people onboard including creating more job opportunities and empowering the people. He said he is hopeful that this will benefit them the land owners.
Sierra Leone Police Local Unit Commander Tonkolili District, Alphonso A Fambulleh called on the people to always seek redress from the appropriate authorities. He called on people to never take the law into their own hands. However, he called on the company to go strictly by the mining industry regulations especially on issues regarding employment
Several other stakeholders from all the three mining communities and the Tonkolili District spoke at the auspicious programme, which was accompanied by the symbolic handing over of the rehabilitated school at Kegbema Community to the Deputy Director of Education Tonkolili District and also the launch of the Women in Agriculture Project in all three mining chiefdoms. The programme was climaxed with traditional performances by the people who warmly welcomed the Kingho staff.
Kingho Mining Company Limited is a subsidiary company of Kingho Investment Company Limited. Kingho Mining is undertaking mining at the New Tonkolili Iron Ore Mines in Sambaia, Dasogoia and Simiria chiefdoms of Tonkolili District, Northern Province of Sierra Leone. It was the Government of Sierra Leone which officially handed over the New Tonkolili Iron Ore Mining site to Kingho Mining Co Ltd on 23rd September 2020.