Freetown, Sierra Leone
About Freetown, Sierra
Freetown is the administrative,
communications, and economic centre of Sierra Leone. The city's
economy revolves largely around its fine natural harbor, which
is capable of receiving oceangoing vessels and which handles
Sierra Leone's main exports.
Industries include food and beverage processing, fish
packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and
the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, shoes, and beer.
Rich in minerals, Sierra Leone has relied on mining,
especially diamonds, for its economic base. Sierra Leone has
one of the world's largest deposits of rutile, a titanium ore
used as paint pigment and welding rod coatings.
Sierra Rutile Limited, owned by a consortium of United
States and European investors, began commercial mining
operations near the city of Bonthe, in the Southern Province,
in early 1979. It was then the largest non-petroleum US
investment in West Africa.
The export of 88,000 tons realized $75 million in export
earnings in 1990. In 1990, the company and the government made
a new agreement on the terms of the company's concession in
Roads and a railroad link Freetown with the interior of the
country and the city is served by an international airport in
nearby Lungi. Guma Dam provides water and hydroelectric power
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