A Sierra Leone ministerial delegation has met with officials from Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi state strategic investment vehicle, to discuss mining opportunities in follow up to a visit by Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma to Abu Dhabi in January.

The mission was headed Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Minister for mines and mineral resources, Siray Alpha Timbo, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, and Bahige Annan, Sierra Leone’s Dubai-based Consul General, as well as Filip Matwin of Royal Group, all of whom met with Mubadala to explore mining opportunities, especially in bauxite, alumina and iron ore.

Minister Mansaray noted: “Mubadala is a potential strategic Mining partner for the Republic of Sierra Leone and we are very pleased to initiate talks in this direction. The mining sector is highly strategic for Sierra Leone in its development of bilateral economic cooperation.

“President Ernest Bai Koroma is committed to ensuring our natural resources benefit the people of Sierra Leone, and the need for a broader and growing cooperation between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates cannot be underestimated.”

Mubadala has strong interests in the African continent, and in November 2013, the company established the Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), a $5bn joint venture between Mubadala and Dubai Aluminium to manage a bauxite and aluminium project in the Republic of Guinea.

Under the agreement, by 2017 GAC will build a bauxite export mine in Sangaredi, a mining area in the west of the country, as well as a port in the coastal city of Kamsar, connected to Sangaredi by railway, and begin work on an alumina refinery for commercial output by 2022.

Mubadala’s entire global portfolio amounts to more than $55bn and is spread across investments and developments in multiple sectors, including energy, semiconductor technology, aerospace, healthcare, ICT, infrastructure, real estate, hospitality and services.