Sierra Rutile's lease in Sierra Leone is the world’s largest known deposit of natural rutile, and has been mined since the early 1960s
Sierra Rutile
Sierra Rutile’s lease in Sierra Leone is the world’s largest known deposit of natural rutile, and has been mined since the early 1960s

AIM-listed rutile miner Sierra Rutile (SLR) has awarded the first phase of plant construction at its new Gangama mineral sands project in Sierra Leone to global engineering company, DRA.

SLR announced last week that it had commenced the construction of the Gangama dry mine project. The project will be developed in two phases, each a separate 500 tph operation. The board of directors has so far approved the commencement, and associated expenditures, for the first phase of the Project.

The rutile company’s lease in Sierra Leone is the world’s largest known deposit of natural rutile, and has been mined since the early 1960s.

The 500 tph Phase 1 project has been awarded to DRA on a lump sum turnkey (LSTK) basis.  Design, procurement, construction and commissioning will be carried out by DRA’s internal specialist LSTK Projects Group.  Beneficiation in the new process plant will include scrubbing, screening, de-sliming and gravity spirals recovery.  Concentrate will be further upgraded on site by the existing beneficiation plant.

Paul Thomson, DRA’s global CEO, comments:  “This is an especially pleasing award for DRA and represents something of a milestone in our 30 year history.  It is a significant mineral sands project for us, and our first project in Sierra Leone.  It adds to our growing complement of recent projects in West Africa, which includes the New Liberty gold project in Liberia for Aureus Mining and the Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso for Roxgold”.

Thomson continues: “We’ve been working closely with the Sierra Rutile team on studies and alternative designs for the past nine months.  This period included a joint value engineering exercise which resulted in cost savings of several million dollars.  This demonstrates our ability to develop optimum solutions for projects, based on innovative thinking by the teams of both DRA and our client.”

Site works on the project will begin during May this year, with commissioning expected in April 2016.

Top Stories:

Sedibelo Platinum CEO Tom Dale steps down

Sibanye Gold released from R12 bn Gold Fields bond

Barrick keeps Lumwana open following revised Zambian tax legislation