Officials of Elixir Marketing and Media, which is the public relations outlet for Sierra Rutile Ltd, has disclosed to Concord Times that the newly commissioned Lanti dry mining plant will process in excess of 3.5 million tonnes of natural rutile annually.
Speaking at their Siaka Stevens Street office in Freetown after the successful launch of the dry mining plant in Rutile over a week ago, the firm's press officer, IsataFofanah, said the commissioning of the plant marked an important milestone for Sierra Rutile Ltd as its construction demonstrates the ability of the company to make the best use of its existing assets and improve on productivity.
She said the Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Rutile, John Sisay, said at the commissioning ceremony that he was impressed with the cooperation especially from members of the Rutile community, adding that their efforts in guiding the process until its final conclusion and commissioning was tremendous.
"Within Sierra Leone, Sierra Rutile has a long tradition of enterprise and we are pleased with the help and support of everyone here today. We will continue to lead the way," Sisay had said at the launching.
Fofanah further noted that the company organized a two-day event for the commissioning in order to interact with members of the Rutile community.
"The two-day event included a durbar of chiefs from the five chiefdoms in Sierra Rutile's area of operations; a cultural and ashobi competition; a concert with appearances from the Fambul Dance Band, Famous, Kakua Musical Academy, Peepuls, After Work and Emerson; a women's and men's football tournament; a march past of schools from the Imperi chiefdom and a schools' essay competition," she said.
It could be recalled that some residents of Hegima and Nyadahun villages in the Imperi chiefdom, Bonthe district, have expressed their frustrations over the launching of the dry plant, describing it as dreadful and unwanted.
One of the locals, who also doubles as the National Chairman for the Campaign for Just Mining Sierra Leone, Leslie Mboka, said at a press conference that it was unfortunate that President Koroma consented to the launching without considering the environmental impact assessment survey conducted in 2001.
"This plant will have negative impacts on the living standards of the people," Mboka had said.