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The Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a part of the London Stock Exchange, has for the first time shortlisted a Sierra Leonean company – Sierra Rutile Ltd – in its prestigious annual awards which celebrate outstanding achievements amongst AIM listed companies.
Sierra Rutile, one of the largest private sector employers in Sierra Leone with a workforce that is 95% Sierra Leonean, is up for the International Company of the Year Award. Its inclusion on the AIM Awards shortlist comes after an exceptional year for the Company, which saw year-on-year sales for the six months ending June 2012 increase by 394%. During the same period, rutile production increased by 57% and ilmenite production by 67%; and in July the Company produced 10,551 tonnes of rutile and 2,059 tonnes of ilmenite, setting itself a new monthly record in the process.
Commenting on the company’s inclusion in the AIM Awards shortlist, Sierra Rutile’s CEO, John Bonoh Sisay says: “Sierra Rutile has had a remarkably successful year and, on behalf of the team, I can say that we are delighted to be recognised in this way. The past year has been a tremendous team effort in which everyone at Sierra Rutile has played a part.”
Mr. Sisay also highlighted Sierra Rutile’s business philosophy of sustainability as a factor in the company’s success. In practical terms this translates into a corporate focus on community relationships, a skilled and healthy workforce, environmental rehabilitation and local socio-economic development. The Sierra Rutile clinic treats around 1,800 people a month and provides community outreach services; a local technical college, sponsored by Sierra Rutile, provides training to almost 300 students annually; the Sierra Rutile Foundation funds local development projects such as schools, wells, bridges and clinics; mined out land is rehabilitated at a rate of 740 acres a year, and old mining lakes have been stocked with fish to create an alternative source of income and food in the surrounding area.
Reflecting on the company’s progress Mr Sisay concluded: “This shows that with hard work, determination and the right team, Sierra Leonean companies can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.”
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