A reputable mining company operating in Sierra Leone, Sierra Mineral Holdings Limited-Vimetco (SMHL-Vimetco) has commenced loading of its first Cape-size vessel (MV Star Angie) to export its Premium Washed Bauxite from Sierra Leone.
For over a decade, the Sierra Mineral Holdings Limited (SMHL-Vimetco) is well known for exporting of premium bauxite to its parent holding Alum, using only Supramax vessels (Medium size vessels with capacity ranging from 48,000 – 60,000 metric tonnes).
The MV Star Angie has arrived in the Shebro River in Sierra Leone to load bauxite. It has a loading capacity of 177,931 DWT metric tons and it is the first vessel in the history of Sierra Leone’s bauxite exportation and it is expected to load 171,151 metric tonnes of bauxite.
When the energy crisis hits Europe, it affected the parent company in Romania, and hence the company scaled down its operations in Sierra Leone due to lack of sales.
During this period, the General Manager of Sierra Mineral Holdings Limited, Mr. Basudeb Datta was optimistic to secure new third buyers and sales outside the group. As an astute and resilient leader who is result oriented has been working in this direction until he now secures reputable buyers.
SMHL Management strived to change its business model from Supra to Cape bulk carrier with a vision that this change in the export model will be linked to increase production, increased sales and the benefit of the economics of scale by bringing down its freight cost, making SMHL bauxite competitive globally and opening new markets for Sierra Leone bauxite.
This is the result of a visionary, resilient and aggressive management strategy and is going to be one of the significant milestones in the history of SMHL in Sierra Leone.
SMHL-Vimetco has carried out the necessary logistic studies to identify the anchorage points in the deeper sea where the Cape size vessel can be safely loaded. Also, they have mobilized the required Transhipper Floating Crane and associated fleet to facilitate loading in the deeper sea to the gearless cape vessel from transshipping river fleet consists of SMHL own fleet and additional fleet were also brought in to enhance loading performance.
SMHL Management is determined to make this a “new bauxite export model” going forward from SMHL.