The Managing Director of London Mining Company, Dan Desjardins has assured the Government and People of Sierra Leone that his company was fully committed to the implementation of the Local Content Policy.
Speaking to the Global Times, in an exclusive interview at the Marampa Mine Site in Lunsar on Friday December 13, 2013 Mr. Desjardins noted that , there had been a lot of misapprehension about his company’s commitment to the implementation of the Local Content Policy. “As far as I know, my company is fully committed to the implementation of the Local Content Policy”, Mr. Desjardins assured.
The London Mining Managing Director clarified that his company was fully committed to subcontract 30% of the Ore Haulage Agreement with Bollore Africa Logistics to local transporters. “We have made this commitment to the Government, and we are waiting for them to work out the modalities on how to proceed”, he said. “It is now up to the government to tell us where we go from here”, Mr. Desjardins emphasised.
The London Mining boss said his company was prepared to work with Sierra Leoneans and Sierra Leonean companies that have the required capacity and professional knowhow to move their operations forward. “We are working with Sierra Leoneans…We have employed a lot of Sierra Leoneans in areas where they have the required skills and/or professional expertise”, he said.
The Project Manager of Bollore Africa Logistics, Keith Muller, for his part said his company was very much committed to working with local subcontractors. “Infact, as things stand right now, we are working with local subcontractors… They are executing 30% of our ore haulage agreement with London Mining…We have no problem with that at all… We want to do even more”, Mr. Muller said.
He clarified that, London Mining was paying them US$ 4.86 per metric ton for haulage. They in turn are paying local subcontractors US$ 4.40 per metric ton wet. “We are providing fuel for all vehicles belonging to local subcontractors throughout the duration of their contract. The rates are expected to reviewed upwards to US$5.20 per metric ton wet in January.
Mr. Muller said they have 124 drivers and all of them are Sierra Leoneans with 80% of them being local inhabitants of Port Loko district. “It cost us US$ 1,500 to train each of those drivers,” he disclosed. He observed that some people were confusing the operations of Bollore Africa Logistics with that of Bollore Freetown Terminal. “They are two separate entities”, he said.
Meanwhile, some local tranporters have suggested for fifty percent of the ore haulage contract to be awarded to them.