Sierra Leone – On 25 April 2016 the Sierra Rutile Gangama dry mine project reached a significant milestone with the completion of plant construction activities and will shortly enter the final phases of commissioning.
The company remains on time and budget for the planned start of commercial production during the second quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, Sierra Rutile has also restarted rutile sales into the titanium metal market.
After several years of subdued demand as stockpiles were depleted, the Sierra Rutile views this initial order as an encouraging sign that the demand for high-grade titanium feedstocks is continuing to strengthen as titanium metal is a key growth market for high-grade titanium feedstocks.
Titanium metal production, for use in aviation, automotive, medical and technological applications, requires a high-grade premium rutile product, and Sierra Rutile has historically been a key supplier to this end market.
Sierra Rutile CEO John Sisay believes these two significant milestones further demonstrate Sierra Rutile’s continued track record of delivering on its stated goals.
“The completion of the construction phase of Gangama represents a significant de-risking step as the project nears commercial production, while the re-commencement of sales into the titanium metal market marks the re-emergence of a key end market for Sierra Rutile’s premium product.”
The Gangama dry mining project involves the excavation of Sierra Rutiles’s Gangama deposit using a fleet of conventional earth moving equipment, which will deliver mineralized ore to a concentrator unit located on the Gangama mine site.
The project will be developed in two phases, each a separate 500 tph operation. The 500 tph Phase 1 project was 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.