London Mining makes first shipment from Sierra Leone

Junior miner London Mining’s stocks (LON:LOND) went up almost five per cent today as the company announced two major milestones: the first shipment of iron ore from its Marampa project in Sierra Leone and the commencement of production of coking coal in Colombia.

The 49,656 wet metric tonne shipment of iron ore concentrate from the west African nation is destined for Europe and is expected to command a premium over the 62% Fe index benchmark, said the miner in a statement this morning.

The company said it expects to get a premium price for the 49,656 wet metric tonnes of Marampa iron ore concentrate, which it added is now en route for Europe.

London Mining also announced that a second ship has been ordered for February destined for China while trading giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) , which has an offtake agreement with for output from the Sierra Leone-based iron ore mine, has requested a third ship.

The “Pride of Marampa” transhipment vessel, said the miner, is also expected in Freetown in March, which will enable it to load Panamax and Capesize vessels.

“January 2012 has been a landmark month for London Mining. We have commenced exports from our operation at Sierra Leone and production from our operation in Colombia,” Chief Executive Graeme Hossie said in the statement.

Last month, London Mining trimmed its output target for 2012 to 1.5 million tonnes due to the ore mix.

“We are focused on producing 1.5 Mt at Marampa in 2012 and are encouraged by the Marampa product specification which allows us to capture a significant grade related pricing premium,” Hossie said.

In Colombia, London is focusing on completing the oven build out, ramping up production, optimizing product specification and commencing transport of coke by road to Barranquilla where port capacity has been secured for 200ktpa of exports.