AIM-listed mineral sands company Sierra Rutile owns the world’s largest natural rutile deposit and is also the second largest producer of natural rutile across the globe, producing on average about 120 000 tpa.
Having recently commenced with the first phase of a major expansion project, the operation’s production status may take first place as it ultimately moves beyond the 200 000 tpa mark within the next two years, writes Laura Cornish.
The Sierra Leone-situated rutile deposit is undoubtedly a worldclass, Tier 1 asset which to date has well over 25 years of lifespan remaining (post the expansion project). This is impressive considering it fi rst became a producing asset in 1967, and mined signifi cant volumes (as much as 150 000 tpa of rutile in 1993) for 28 years until it was closed in 1995 owing to the civil war. Sierra Rutile’s mining leases cover a land area of 560 km.
It has a JORC-compliant resource of 900 Mt of ore grading 0.94% rutile and an additional 8.4 Mt of rutile in situ. “We are also the only rutile miner which produces ilmenite and zircon as by-products, which ensures our grades remain high,” says John Sisay, CEO and..