RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business
Looking beyond the conventional trade ties, Citigate Commodities Trading Limited, a Dubai-based company, is exploring the little known African nation Sierra Leone aiming to create a platform for local investors to access the emerging market of diamond mining industry in West Africa. Citigate Commodities announced the acquisition and launch of a 79.9 sq km diamond mine in Sierra Leone in the presence of CEO of the Citigate International, Tohib Iyiola and HE Al Haji Minkailu Mansaray, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources from Sierra Leone.
“We are proud to announce that we have achieved our first milestone towards our vision by launching the Safa Afrique diamond mining project. Our vision is to bridge the gap between the GCC and African region to capitalise on the natural resources sector and this is the first step towards our success”, Tohib told Emirates Business.
He further added, “Our aim is to introduce new investment vehicles which can assist investors from the GCC to participate in the vast natural resources and mineral reserves in Africa. We have made it secure, flexible and transparent by introducing an investment proposition with an income guarantee backed by a bank. We are providing investors a platform to access the emerging market of diamond mining industry in West Africa through Citigate International Investment Trust. It is an industry which has a track record of exponential growth”.
The company aims to boost diamond exports and trade for the Middle Eastern market by achieving a fully integrated operation, from exploration to export.
“Safa Afrique is an initiative created to serve as a synergy the finance and natural resources sector for capital appreciation purposes and an opportunity to diversify from the distressed oil and gas industry. Our investment proposition provides diversification to the regular investment portfolios,” he said.
The site of Safa Afrique is located in Koidu, which is home to the third largest diamond, the Star of Sierra Leone. The mining project is neighboring the largest diamond mine of West Africa which certainly provides a competitive edge to the project.
The initial exploration survey report by the world’s leading firm SRK Exploration has expressed their confidence in the project during their geological survey. Diamond mining is a growing industry which has achieved year on year growth. African region is famous for diamonds all over the world but it is perceived as a high risk business due to multiple legal and political factors.