Project Background

The Tonkolili Iron Ore Project has three phases of mining that will run over 50 years. An environmental management approach was required from the outset to meet regulatory needs and to be adaptive to project changes. Advisian assisted with developing this approach and undertook the studies required for the Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP).

Our Services

Approval for phase one of the project was a critical step. This phase involved mining surface hematite crust as direct shipping ore, and exporting this through a refurbished narrow-gauge rail and port facility. Our consultants undertook environmental and social studies to address the air, noise, hydrology, soils, waste, ecology, social and health issues. A detailed marine sciences program was also implemented to review impacts and management measures associated with the port and ship-loading facilities.

Phase two and three required ore processing from deeper formations and at higher production rates, requiring a different configuration and larger scale of infrastructure. An ESMP with modular elements was developed for these phases and embedded the ESHIA from phase one. This was designed to manage change and provide a specification for contractors. The ESMP will remain a live document, interacting with Sierra Leone authorities and project stakeholders to ensure robust planning decisions.


The ESHIA and ESMP were approved by the authorities, enabling our client to obtain their license to operate and maintain a robust management system, capable of handling change throughout the different construction and operation phases of the project.

Advisian executed the work as an integrated environmental and engineering contract, enabling synergy, better performance and greater value for the client.