The deadly disease Ebola has caused a shuffle in the West African countries, and it is negative effects are now being felt across the mining industry. Embattled West African iron-ore miner, London Mining said its board has decided to place the company into administration due to the outbreak of the disease.
Although the company had said on June that its production had not been affected by the outbreak, they said production could be affected by the outbreak in the second half.
This adds pain to the injury since, the company, which owns the Marampa mine in Sierra Leone, has been battling high costs, a sharp drop in iron prices: the impact of the Ebola virus on operations in West Africa are expected to make the situation worse.
The company has, however, resulted in an initiative of constructing a 130-bed center near its Marampa mine to help stop the vice. The mine employs 1400 people. London Mining has also donated over $165,000 to fight Ebola. “We believe it is our duty to provide what help we can to stem the spread of this disease,” said Dan Desjardins, managing director for London Mining. The company said that the Ebola outbreak had the ability to cost companies “$1 per ton of iron ore produced in 2014 and force a reduction in drilling.”
London Mining’s Marampa mine is located around 120 km from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone; it is also located 40km from tidewater enabling use of a low cost flexible logistics solution. It has a resource of almost 1bn tonnes including tailings from previous operations and soft weathered ore, which means that a simple low cost process can be employed to produce a premium quality sinter concentrate.
Marampa mine reached a peak production of 2.5mtpa before it was caused to close down due to low iron ore prices.
The company acquired mining licenses in 2006 after weak market economics and civil war had prevented redevelopment of the mine. Low iron ore prices and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa have also affected other companies such as Sierra Leone’s African Minerals.