London Mining fails to find buyer, was leading fight against Ebola outbreak
The fight against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has suffered a significant set back with the collapse of London Mining which failed to find a buyer for its firm, The Guardian reported.
The London-based mining firm owns a an iron ore mine in Marampa, 120 miles east of the capital Freetown. The company built an Ebola treatment center but appointed administrators on Thursday after failing to find a buyer for the severely debt-laden firm.
The collapse of the company raises fears about international efforts to combat Ebola, which has claimed about 4,500 lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
“We are part of this community and this nation,” London Mining’s managing director, Dan Desjardins, said on 8 October. “A strengthened healthcare system is essential for safeguarding the health of our employees and our host communities. We believe it is our duty to provide what help we can to stem the spread of this disease.”
London Mining has been central to government efforts to tackle the virus, including helping build a 130-bed Ebola treatment centre near Lunsar.
The company said its executives would work with administrators to try to continue to “maintain the Marampa Mine as a going concern, although at this time this is not confirmed.”
Graeme Hossie, London Mining’s chief executive, said: “I salute all our employees for their dedication and contribution in creating what is now an important part of Sierra Leone’s economy and ongoing development.
I also applaud them for the ongoing leadership role our team has played within the private sector in Sierra Leone in helping address the challenges of the current Ebola crisis. The Marampa mine retains excellent fundamentals and it is our sincere wish for it to find the appropriate financial support to continue operating over the longer term.”
London Mining, which has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2005, suspended trading in its shares on 10 October after warning that it did not have enough cash to continue to run the mine.