May 17, 2020

More competition for staff as mining industry recovers

Fran Roberts
2 min
By far the biggest source of new job advertisements in Australia is mining, resources and energy, according to an annual report published by SEEK, Austr...

By far the biggest source of new job advertisements in Australia is mining, resources and energy, according to an annual report published by SEEK, Australia’s number one jobs site.

There was a 72% rise in job advertisements in the sector in August 2017 compared to August 2016.

Such a rise in the number of mining jobs is a trend not just confined to Australia.

ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Report found that in the US, staffing levels in the US mining sector are expected to grow by 13% during Q4 2017.


All of this is good news for the industry. The rise in staffing is a positive sign of recovery for the industry after a difficult few years.

“We had a large downturn between 2014-2016 and the industry is coming back,” said Matthew Wilcox, Nordgold’s Project Director of the Gross mine project.

“It certainly went through a big lull and it didn’t necessarily make things more difficult for the mines or developing projects but it meant a lot more manpower resources were available to companies that were investing at the time.

“As things recover, there’s more competition for staff and contractors.”

Solid economic performance in a number of regions is proving to be positive news for the mining and metals sector.

According to figures from EY, global growth will reach 2.8% this year and is forecast at 3% in 2018.

Both the US and Eurozone are growing steadily at around 2.1% in 2017 and this is expected to continue in the EU in 2018.

US economic growth may be stronger in 2018 at around 2.4% on the back of stimulus plans.

As the industry returns to strength, there will be increased demand for staff.

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May 11, 2021

Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone

Gerald Group
SL Mining
Iron ore
Marampa iron ore mine
2 min
Gerald Group, the US commodity broker, set to restart iron ore shipments from Marampa mine with subsidiary SL Mining

Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.

SL Mining

Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence. 

As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.

Iron Ore

Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.

Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.

Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."

SL Mining


Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.

"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.

Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.

Gerald Group

Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.

"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”

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