Sierra Minerals has been re-equipped and provided with modern machinery and vehicles for the full technological cycle. Itemploys 350 people and will conduct bauxite mining as its primary activity.

The decision is part of Vimetco’s ongoing strategy of full vertical integration and of reducing overall costs. The estimated bauxite output of 1.4Mt/y will mostly go to the alumina refinery in Romania, ensuring the necessary raw material for aluminium production in Slatina.

Most of the bauxite output will be supplied to the Vimetco's alumina refinery, Alum Tulcea, which reopened in 4Q 2009 following a complex upgrading programme, during which the company replaced part of the existing equipment, to make production processes more efficient and to comply with European regulations for environment protection.

In the first nine months of 2010, Sierra Minerals registered a bauxite production of 814kt, compared to 514kt in the same period of 2009. Sales of bauxite (net of moisture) were 963kt. Of the 963kt of bauxite sold, 924kt tonnes were sent to Alum Tulcea.