Two among these Sierra Leoneans are employees of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) attached to the NMA Laboratory. Solomon Amadu is a Chemist whilst Mabinty Sesay is a Geologist and a Training Mineralogist by expertise.
Mabinty who graduated in 2006 from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management and Quality Control.
She exclusively told this medium that the fundamental benefit of the training is to place Sierra Leone in a better position to know the quantity and grade of minerals especially gold that will be exported.
Mabinty said they studied new innovative ideas that will help them to contribute to the development and rebranding of the mining industry.
“I am happy to be accorded this opportunity,” said Mabinty, adding that, “the training did not only capacitate me, but I was able to learn a lot as a professional mineralogist.”
Foday Sillah explained that, they received training on fire assay gravimetric and atomic absorption spectrometric method. The fire assay technique uses high temperature and flux to melt the rock and allow the gold to be collected. Upon cooling, the lead button is separated from the slag and processed in a separate furnace for a high temperature oxidation where the lead is removed, leaving the precious metals behind as a metallic bead in nitric acid called a prill.
He went on to say that after going through the one month course at the analysis and test training center, Changsha Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in Changsha City, southern China, he will be able to replicate same in his area of responsibilities.
“I am proud to be among the first set of Sierra Leoneans to travel to China to study in one of the most prestigious mining and metallurgy institutions in the world,” he told journalists in an exclusive interview.
Outlining the modules offered, Foday said the fundamentals to fire assays are fluxes combination, atomic absorption spectrometer, screen fire assays and gravimetric finishes.
He commended Da Yu mining company and encouraged other mining and exploration companies to emulate the good example of Da Yu Mining Company for the growth and sustainable development of the mining industry.
He said they visited Hunan Zhongnan Gold Smelting Company with a total registered capital of over eight hundred million ($800m) United States Dollars.