Bloomberg News

Sierra Leone Diamond, Gold Shipments Rise in May, Bank Says

July 13, 2011

(Updates with exports of rutile and bauxite in fourth paragraph.)

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Shipments of diamonds from Sierra Leone, West Africa’s second-biggest producer of the gems, rose 19 percent to 33,450 carats in May from a month earlier, the country’s central bank said.

The exports included 13,010 carats of industrial diamonds and 20,440 carats of gem diamonds, the Bank of Sierra Leone said in a monthly economic review handed to reporters in Freetown, the capital, today.

The country exported 400,842 carats of diamonds in 2009, with a value of $78.4 million, according to the Kimberley Process, which was established to stem the trade in so-called conflict diamonds from countries including Sierra Leone. Neighboring Guinea was the region’s top diamond producer according to Kimberley Process data from 2009, the most recent available, with 696,731 carats.

Gold exports climbed 25 percent to 549,790 ounces in May, according to the report. Shipment of rutile, a titanium ore, declined 4 percent to 5,030 metric tons while bauxite, which is used in aluminum production, dropped to 140,030 tons in May from 141,640 tons a month earlier, the bank said in the report.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Andrew Barden.

To contact the reporter on this story: Silas Gbandia in Freetown via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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