Vimetco begins direct operation of its bauxite mines in Sierra Leone

Thu, 12/02/2010 - 08:32

Amsterdam, 2 December 2010 – Vimetco NV (LSE: VICO), the global manufacturer of primary and processed aluminium products, announces it has begun the operation of its bauxite mines in Sierra Leone without the support of a contractor. Sierra Minerals has been re-equipped and provided with modern machinery and vehicles for the full technological cycle. It employs 350 people and will conduct bauxite mining as its primary activity. The decision is part of Vimetco’s ongoing strategy of full vertical integration and of reducing overall costs. The estimated annual bauxite output of 1.4 million tonnes will mostly go to the alumina refinery in Romania, ensuring the necessary raw material for aluminium production in Slatina.

“This decision further consolidates the predictability of the business, allowing us to continue the implementation of our long term development programme”, said Gheorghe Dobra, President of the Board Sierra Minerals. “The fact that we will be directly operating the bauxite mine will also allow better cost control and will increase the reliability of the bauxite supply for our alumina refinery in Romania.”

Most of the bauxite output will be supplied to the Vimetco's alumina refinery, Alum Tulcea, which reopened in 4Q 2009 following a complex upgrading programme, during which the Company replaced part of the existing equipment, to make production processes more efficient and to comply with European regulations for environment protection.

In the first nine months of 2010, Sierra Minerals registered a bauxite production of 814,000 tonnes, compared to 514,000 tonnes in the same period of 2009. Sales of bauxite (net of moisture) were 963,000 tonnes. Of the 963,000 tonnes of bauxite sold, 924,000 tonnes were sent to Alum Tulcea.

For further information please contact:

Florenta Ghita
Premium Communication
Bucharest    Phone +40 (0)21 411 01 52

About Vimetco
Vimetco N.V. is a global, vertically integrated producer of primary and processed aluminium products with major production assets in Romania, Sierra Leone and China, and a holding company in The Netherlands. Vimetco NV controls an aluminium production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes pa. Vimetco’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:VICO).