London Mining is in negotiations with iron-ore trader Sinosteel and metals trader China Minmetals to form a partnership for its Sierra Leone-based Marampa project.

London Mining CEO Graeme Hossie said the company is confident negotiations will result in a joint venture or investments to speed up production, according to Bloomberg.

The company is also in negotiations with China National Railways, Hossie said.

The UK miner has commenced development work on the project and expects production of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum by 2011 with plans to double output from 2013.

London Mining’s cash reserves will be used to finance the mine’s initial phase cost of $85m, Hossie said.

London Mining and its US partner Wits Basin Precious Minerals also intend to extend the China-based Xiaonanshan mine by acquiring two nearby deposits.