Iluka rutile project grinds to halt due to strike action

Image: Sierra Rutile

Iluka Resources’ subsidiary Sierra Rutile has stopped mining temporarily due to a strike by part of its workforce.

Sierra Rutile merged with Iluka Resources in December 2016 and is focused on rutile mining operations in Sierra Leone, Africa.

According to Iluka, the strike, while peaceful, is “not in accordance with Sierra Leonean law”.

“[Sierra Rutile] has a clear grievance process in place and this has not been utilised prior to strike action being taken,” an Iluka statement said today.

Sierra Rutile focuses on the production of rutile, ilmenite and zircon from mineral sands and is responsible for one of the world’s largest rutile deposits, operating three dredge and dry mines in the Moyamba and Bonthe districts of the small West African country.

Sierra Rutile management and union officials are meeting with the striking employees to try and work out why the workers have gone on strike.

The company has also asked the Government of Sierra Leone for assistance, with the Minister for Labour Adekunle King travelling to the site yesterday to meet the employees.

“Iluka is focused on achieving an appropriate resolution to the strike action and will keep the market informed of progress towards that resolution,” the statement concluded.

The strike is expected to have an impact on the company’s full-year production but the extent of this impact is yet to be determined.

Iluka is expected to release its quarterly review tomorrow to provide a general production update followed by a scheduled investor call.

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