Freetown, Sierra Leone, July 1, 2019—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $60 million investment
in Iluka Resources’ Sierra Rutile Limited to partner with the resources
company as it expands its operations in Sierra Leone, where it is the largest
tax payer, private employer, and foreign exchange earner, and a linchpin
of the country’s mining sector.
IFC’s equity investment will support Sierra Rutile Limited’s major expansion,
which seeks to approximately double its rutile production in Sierra Leone
from the current 150,000 tons per year and extend the life of its mine
to at least 2035, providing local jobs and economic benefits for decades
to come. Rutile is a mineral primarily used as a feedstock to produce whitening
pigment for paints, plastics, and paper.
IFC will also work with Sierra Rutile Limited to increase its positive
impact on local communities. A three-year advisory services agreement between
IFC and Sierra Rutile will help the mining company implement a new community
investment and engagement strategy, improve the transparency and use of
community-managed mining revenues, and develop a women and youth social
and economic empowerment program.
Iluka’s Managing Director, Tom O’Leary, said, “Partnering with IFC will
provide benefits to Iluka, IFC, and the people of Sierra Leone by promoting
the continued, sustainable development of the Sierra Rutile operation.
IFC has unparalleled expertise and experience in community and stakeholder
engagement in developing countries, which will complement Sierra Rutile’s
own activities in these areas.”
Lance Crist, IFC’s Global Head of Equity, who attended the event, said
“IFC’s investment in Sierra Rutile Limited highlights our long-term commitment
to the private sector in countries recovering from conflict and has the
potential to generate thousands of local jobs and millions in government
IFC will make an initial investment of $20 million to fund Sierra Rutile
Limited’s existing operations and then a further $40 million to support
its ambitious expansion plans, which must comply with IFC’s Performance
Standards. IFC’s total $60 million investment will represent a 10 percent
stake in the company.
The partnership with Iluka and Sierra Rutile Limited also demonstrates
IFC’s continued commitment to fragile states and those recovering from
conflict. From 2008-2018 IFC invested $8 billion in fragile and conflict-affected
situations (FCS) globally, of which $3 billion was invested in African
FCS. IFC is a strong development partner helping Sierra Leone strengthen
and grow its economy, providing both investments and advisory services.
IFC also supports Sierra Leone through its Conflict Affected States in
Africa Initiative (CASA), which is backed by Ireland, the Netherlands,
Iluka, which owned 100 percent of Sierra Rutile Limited prior to IFC’s
investment, is an Australian-based international mineral sands company
with over 60 years of experience in the sector. The Sierra Rutile mine
currently employs more than 2,500 people.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org