Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 December 2021:
Marampa Mines Limited has announced the ratification of its Large-Scale Mining Agreement by Sierra Leone’s Parliament yesterday, and the final payment of US$10 million by the company to the Government of Sierra Leone.
This is what Marampa Mines Limited said today in a statement:
“Marampa Mines Limited, (“MML”, “Marampa Mines” or “the Company”), is pleased to announce the ratification of its new Large Scale Mining Agreement (also known as “Mining Licence Agreement” or “MLA”) by the Sierra Leone Parliament on 16 December 2021.
“The MLA was put forward to Parliament by the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone (“GoSL”) and was unanimously approved yesterday.
“MML has also paid a final instalment of USD 10 million today, as part of a fixed sum of USD 20 million to the GoSL, pursuant to the binding Settlement Agreement.
Craig Dean, Executive Chairman and CEO, Gerald Group, commented: “I would like to thank His Excellency President Bio and his administration for their commitment over the past several months, as we look forward to a new era of partnership between Gerald / MML, the GoSL and all our stakeholders. Since we signed the Settlement Agreement earlier this year, Marampa Mines has successfully, 1) loaded and exported more than 700,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate, beneficiated by SL Mining Limited 2) restarted production, processing and exports of Marampa BlueTM, our premium >65% Fe iron ore product, and 3) with the MLA coming into effect, MML will ramp up the Project, generating significant employment opportunities and other benefits for the country and our communities. As indicated previously, we are considering a significant expansion of the Marampa Project and related infrastructure, which will allow our iron ore asset to become a major contributor to economic growth and development in Sierra Leone.”
“The MLA’s ratification also sees the ICC and ICSID arbitration between the GoSL and Gerald International Limited/SL Mining Limited being withdrawn and discontinued.
Photo above: Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba and Mr. Craig Dean, Executive Chairman and CEO, Gerald Group.
“The Honourable Minister of Mines and Minerals Resources, Mr. Kabba, said: “This could not have happened but for the astute leadership of His Excellency, the President, who graciously ended the matter and provided guidance and leadership for turning a new page of partnership, that is now based on trust and benefit for the people of Sierra Leone and Gerald group.”
“The MLA granted to Marampa Mines is for an initial period of 25 years, renewable thereafter for 15 years. Under MML’s mining obligations, the Company will conduct operations to promote the growth of the economy, including integrating the mining operations with other sectors in the country and maximising local content and the supply chain within Sierra Leone.
“The GoSL undertakes to facilitate use of all existing rail and port infrastructure, while allowing the Company the right to build similar infrastructure for the expansion of the Project’s mining, logistics and export operations throughout the duration of the MLA.
“MML is also pleased to support the Lunsar community, and will make payments to a Community Development Fund, at a rate of 1% of the Free-on-Board revenue received by MML in accordance with the MLA.
“MML started operations on 1 June 2021 following the Settlement Agreement with the GoSL on 7 May 2021. The number of jobs at the Marampa Project are expected to rise to 1,400 within weeks as the Company implements its development plan in a phased manner.
“MML is in the process of increasing production of iron ore concentrate from 2M dmtpa to 3.25M dmtpa, progressively generating vital revenues for the country and fulfilling other important commitments, as the Project expands.”
People should know the contents of the new lease agreement and how it compares with the previous agreement signed, where there were so many unrealistic tax concessions granted to the the mining company to detriment of Sierra Leone.
This is great news for the people of Lunsar and Sierra Leone in general for the bipartisan support from all political parties of parliament to reach an agreement. Hopefully, members of the opposition APC party will get used to the idea that bipartisan agreements are necessary for the development of our nation. It was rather unfortunate that this parliament started on a wrong footing based on the fact that the APC decided to reverse the positive gains made by late President Tejan Kabba by making only a Supreme or High Court Judge as speaker of parliament ( not a politician) , respecting the constitution that any civil servant should retire one year before contesting an election and election violence against your opponent is unacceptable.
There are also consequences for vandalizing our Honorable Hose of Parliament which resulted in the removal of most APC members by the security forces before the voting of our current speaker. Even members of ECOWAS that visited to settle the dispute agreed with the lawful removal by the police.
I hope and pray that only the twelve districts parliamentary seats will be restored to the days of the late President Tejan Kabba who rebuilt our institutions but unfortunately was reversed under the 11 years of misrule by President Ernest Koroma of the APC party. May the almighty continue to bless our Honorable Speaker Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu for his excellent leadership.