Sierra Leone’s president has signaled the commencement of mining operations at an iron ore mining deposit in northern part of the country by Chinese company the Shandong Iron and Steel Group Limited.
Shandong acquired the Tonkolili mine by paying over $100 million to get the sole ownership of the mines from the African Minerals Sierra Leone Limited.
At the symbolic ceremony held in Freetown on Wednesday, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma described the occasion as “a positive turning point in the country’s quest for economic recovery and development.”
He admonished the company that although mining activities bring a lot of money to the government but urged them not to forget the youths of the area by providing job opportunities as well as utilizing the local materials of the district.
Koroma also urged the Shandong mining company to exhibit “good corporate partnership by promoting sustainable development and at the same time, enhancing the welfare of the people of Tonkolili.” Koroma urged the Chinese company to operate in a manner that respects the environmental management systems.
The Vice Chairman of Shandong Iron and Steel Group, Cui Jurong promised that his company will adhere to the core values of the company by “advancing together, innovate together and win together. “
He declared that with an excellent team “there is the guarantee that they will make huge contributions to the Sierra Leone’s economy.”