Sierra Rutile signs MoU to secure hydropower

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed mineral sands producer Sierra Rutile has entered into a memorandum of understanding with sustainable electricity developer Smol Pawa Sierra Leone to become a cornerstone buyer of hydropower from Smol Pawa’s Moyamba hydropower project.

The 11 MW to 14 MW run-of-river hydropower project, which was currently in the feasibility stage, would be located at the Singimi Falls on the Gbanga river, within 20 km of Sierra Rutile’s existing operations.

The project would be developed as a public–private partnership with the government of Sierra Leone and would serve the communities of Moyamba, as well as the Njala University and Sierra Rutile.

Sierra Rutile stated that the project’s financing, permitting and construction were expected to be completed within 36 to 48 months.

"We are very pleased to partner with Smol Pawa on this project. As we continue to focus on reducing costs, the opportunity to purchase reliable, low-cost power will significantly reduce Sierra Rutile's cost exposure to potential oil price fluctuations,” Sierra Rutile CEO John Sisay commented.

He said power supplied from the hydropower facility would also reduce Sierra Rutile's operating risk by diversifying its power sources.

“We are also pleased to be able to support the government of Sierra Leone's Agenda for Prosperity in its provision of long-term sustainable electricity for the country," Sisay concluded.