Marampa Mines Limited, which is owned by the Gerald Group, has started a 3.25 million tonnes per year extension of the mine’s name in Sierra Leone. Following the beginning of mining on September 1, 2021, the expansion will increase output from 2 million tonnes per year to 4 million tonnes per year, generating the company’s patented Marampa Blue product. Marampa Blue is a >65% iron content concentrate that is currently in great demand as iron smelters around the world strive to lower their carbon footprints.
President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone hailed the resumption of full-scale operations. “Exports of high-value products from Sierra Leone, such as Marampa Blue iron ore concentrate, will rise year after year, providing a long-awaited boost to our country’s economic growth and stability,” he said in a statement. “I share my optimism and trust in the future success of the Marampa mines and additional inward investment in Sierra Leone’s natural resource industries with all of you.”
The development was part of a joint strategy, according to Gerald Group and Marampa Mines chairman and CEO Craig Dean, to optimize the beneficiation of up to 1.7 billion tonnes of compliant resources at Marampa, which includes the Marampa North and South concessions. “By building a sustainable and resilient mining business, [the partnership] gives more money to the government of Sierra Leone and develops possibilities, so Sierra Leoneans gain tremendously from MML’s growth and success,” he said.
The 3.25 million tonnes per year expansion includes the addition of a new feed point and a new product line to accommodate the increased feed and product volume, as well as a new set of spiral blocks to increase processing capacity and a mining fleet expansion with large 90 million tonne capacity excavators to increase mining volume.
Marampa Mines has announced plans to expand the business to 7 million tonnes per year, more than tripling the current plant’s capacity.
Options for extra power and renewable or fewer carbon-intensive energy sources are being considered as part of the expansion process. Operational access to Pepel’s rail and port infrastructure is being discussed, and it will help MML streamline export processes and reduce its carbon footprint, both of which are important factors in ensuring the mining operations’ future competitiveness and sustainability.