Sierra Mineral Holding Limited commonly known has (Vimetco) in 2019 made less than a million dollars in profit ($883,000), far from what they made in the previous year. This was revealed by the Chief Finance Office ( CFO) of Vimetco Abdul Bangura, during the payment of the 2020 Surface rent to Paramount Chiefs and landowners in the Chiefdoms where the Company operates. According to the CFO, in the 2018 financial year, the Bauxite Mining Company realized over $13million in profit, which he said they were very pleased about and had to thank the land owners and Paramount Chiefs for their tremendous support to the Company to amass such gain. Speaking on challenges faced by the Company in 2019, Bangura said the start of 2019, between January and October, the Company was doing pretty well, recording huge profit and was able to accomplish its production indicators in terms of mining and exportation volumes. But during the last quarters Bangura said the Company started having request from buyers that the global price for Bauxite is dropping and that the Company needs to reduce its selling price. He said because operational cost cannot be reduced overnight as it involves lots of cross-cutting measures, the Company reverted to its buyers that the price of Bauxite cannot be reduced during the course of the year. In this case, Bangura maintained, the buyers reduced the up-lift of the shipment that they have been taking per year and that recorded a significant drop in sales. He said if the Company cannot sell it cannot also just keep on producing, especially when it has to meet other running costs. He said in line with this, the Company decided to take proactive measures to make sure that the Company align its sales and production together, so it curtailed its production during the last quarter of the year. “This means that this year, the Company will get less revenue and that more of its capital projects have already been reduced to the barest minimum.” However, the CFO assured that this challenge will not let the Company evade any of its obligations to both Government and local levels. He assured that they have no plans to shut down operations neither go into any redundancy but will be going out in search of more new buyers.
By Mohamed J. Bah