Mining Indaba, has confirmed the participation of Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual event.

The Sierra Leone head of state will deliver the presidential keynote address and joins DRC President Félix Tshisekedi at the online conference, to be held on 2-3 February 2021. Organisers anticipate more presidential announcements to be made early next year.

Sierra Leone is a resource-rich country of diamonds, iron ore, rutile and bauxite as well as small-scale artisanal mining of gold and diamonds, possessing one of the largest rutile reserves in the world. Mining contributes about 20% to the national GDP, accounting for around three-quarters of the country’s exports.

Bio will be discussing creating a progressive investment environment through the Minerals Policy, provide an update on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) framework within the country.

In more recent years, prudent management of natural resources has been a pillar of the national agenda for prosperity within the country. Sierra Leone has shown strong commitment to using the EITI as a tool to bring reforms that will attract much-needed investment into the country. Indicating a more positive outlook for mining in the near future is becoming apparent for Sierra Leone.

Announced recently, the newly floating LNG (FNG) project with GasLog which is set for FID next year, will be one of the key market drivers for powering mining projects. The new Western Area Power Generation Project will help increase Sierra Leone’s power generation capacity over 50%, once full capacity is reached. Electricity generated by the facility will be sold to the national energy, EDSA, under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Creating a path forward, the venture is expected to spur private investment back into the country and revitalise the economy, lighting the way for national progress.

Building into the overall theme of Mining Indaba Virtual, geared towards building resilience and regrowth, helping to adopt a new mindset for African Mining, Bio will also be discussing creating a progressive investment environment through the Minerals Policy, provide an update on the EITI framework within the country, and the array of opportunities for international investment in new project development.

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