The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Julius Daniel Mattai, is currently participating in the Africa Investment Forum (AIF), to promote and showcase Sierra Leone as a primary investment destination in Africa.
The AIF Market Days 2023 is taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, from 8-10 November under the theme, “Unlocking Africa’s Value Chains”.
On Day 2 of the AIF Market Days, Minister Julius Daniel Mattai, on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL), supported the business discussions and presentation by the Executive Director (Mr Karl Smithson) of Sierra Diamonds Ltd/Newfield Resources Ltd, in seeking USD 15-20 million equity funding to complement a proposed debt funding package of up to USD 50 million for the Tongo Diamond Mine in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone.
The Tongo Diamond Mine Project comprises a 25-year mining licence that covers an area of 134 square kilometers with 8 million proven carats valued at USD 2 billion. The Project has a significant impact on the local community, employing over 259 Sierra Leoneans currently, increasing to over 500 by 2027.
The Project, with an estimated current Life of Mine (LoM) of 17 years, will also yield over USD 200 million in direct taxation and USD 116 million in diamond royalties to the GOSL, and USD 18 million in community development funds.
Beyond its monetary value, the mine development is expected to develop infrastructure around the Eastern Province, help stabilise the economy and create further jobs for local workers.
The AIF is a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that advances projects to bankable stages, raises capital, and accelerates deals to financial closure. Its vision is to channel capital towards critical sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Development Bank’s High 5s and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Since it was launched in 2018, the AIF has mobilised nearly USD 143 billion in investment interest. Its centrepiece is the annual three-day Market Days event, which brings together thousands of global investors, heads of development finance institutions, and business and government leaders to advance critical investment transactions to closure.