The Gerald Group-owned Marampa Mines Limited has commissioned a 3.25 million tonnes per annum expansion of the namesake iron ore mine in Sierra Leone.
The expansion follows a restart of mining on September 1, 2021, and ups output from 2 million tonnes per annum, producing the company’s trademarked Marampa Blue product. Marampa Blue entails a >65% iron content concentrate currently in high demand as the world’s iron smelters seek to reduce their carbon footprints.
Gerald Group and Marampa Mines CEO Craig Dean said the expansion was part of a shared vision to optimize the beneficiation of up to about 1.7 billion tonnes of compliant resources at Marampa, which combines Marampa North and South concessions.
“[The venture] brings additional revenues to the government of Sierra Leone and creates opportunities by developing a sustainable and resilient mining operation, so Sierra Leoneans significantly benefit from MML’s growth and success,” he said.
The 3.25 million tonnes per year expansion mainly includes the addition of a new feed point and a new product line to accommodate the additional feed and product volume, as well as the addition of a new set of spiral blocks to increase processing capacity, and an expansion of the mining fleet with large 90 million tonne capacity excavators to increase mining volume.
Marampa Mines has laid out plans to expand the operation further to 7 million tonnes per annum, more than doubling the current plant nameplate capacity. As part of the expansion process, options to access additional power and renewable or lower carbon-intensive energy sources are under consideration. Discussion for operational access to Pepel’s rail and port facilities are underway and will contribute significantly to MML’s streamlining of export operations and reduction in carbon footprint, key components to ensure the future competitiveness and sustainability of the mining operations.