Iluka restarts work at Sierra Rutile following strike talks

Image: Sierra Rutile

Iluka Resources subsidiary Sierra Rutile has announced that work has recommenced at its mineral sands operation in Sierra Leone, West Africa, following industrial action taken by workers last week.

Workers at the rutile mining operation went on strike on October 23 for undisclosed reasons. Following talks with the United Mineworkers’ Union and Sierra Leone Government, Iluka has said that a process is in place to resolve the action.

“While some level of uncertainty persists, discussions with the union are ongoing and a process has been agreed to resolve the unlawful strike,” read a statement released by the company today.

Located across the Moyamba and Bonthe districts of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Rutile operation produces rutile, ilmenite and zircon from mineral sands and is for one of the world’s largest rutile deposits, consisting of three dredge and dry mines.

The company has also stated that the strike has impacted its production guidance to a maximum guidance of 125–130,000t of rutile, provided the company can ramp up its activities quickly once a resolution has been implemented.

The company’s initial guidance for the 2018 financial year was in the 160,000t range, which was then revised in its June 2018 quarterly report to 150,000t.

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