Kingho Mining starts full-scale operation in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 March 2021:

In what has been a move that is geared towards revamping the economy of Sierra Leone, Kingho Mining Company Limited has confirmed that its mines in Tonkolili and the railway and port of its co-subsidiary in Pepel Town, have started full-scale operation yesterday, Saturday 6th March 2021.

This landmark move by the company comes after acquiring large scale mining license in 2020 to operate the New Tonkolili Iron Ore Mines, and then took over the site from the Government of Sierra Leone on 23rd September 2020.

It also comes just about two months after the signing of the 192-kilometer railway and port lease agreement by Kingho Railway and Port Company and the Government of Sierra Leone, which will ensure the company utilizes the infrastructure to transportation its iron ore out of the country.

The company is putting safety measures in place to ensure that residents along the railway are safe, while its train operations are ongoing.

The company says that motor bikes and vehicles crossing the rail must use the legal level crossings, and pedestrians must maintain a three-meter distance away from the railway tracks on both sides.

Communities along the railway have been sensitized to avoid accidents involving children and domestic animals.

Reaffirming its commitment to safety in the communities, Kingho companies have recruited over 200 level crossing flagmen directly from the villages close to the railway.

The first set of locomotives departed from Pepel Town yesterday morning for the mining site in Tonkolili, where full-scale iron ore mining has now started.

Kingho Mining Company Limited employs thousands of Sierra Leoneans and contributes millions of dollars to the government’s much needed revenue through taxes and royalties.

6 Comments

  1. Bottom Line, our judges don’t either have the power to overrule some of these bad decisions by a superior authority or they simply fear of their jobs if they make such moves. There is no system in place for continuity in our constitution to prevent such reckless and irresponsible mess from happening when a new government comes in. I hope that our parliamentarians focus their minds on some sort of continuity procedure when a new government comes to power. Another area to prevent such impulsive decisions is to reduce the term of the presidency, from two five year terms to one six year term. Such a law would allow future presidents to work very hard for the country and try to achieve a decent legacy in their one and only term.

    Let us take the present President as an example. He came in, had a row with Kingho Mines, annulled the Mamamah airport project and started some development projects. The list goes on and on. Some projects have been completed, but many are still on the go with no end in sight. Such irresponsible ideas sing in a President’s mind, because he is focused on a second term. Everything is done haphazardly. This is what he will tell me for re-election. “Sahr you know what? Please give me one more term. I will complete all the development projects that I did not finish in my first term. My development agenda was too big to be completed in one term. Also, COVID 19 was another factor.

    It hit the economy very hard. That is why you hear people talking about “de gron dry”. Another term will help me fight corruption and violence within my camp which has left many Sierra Leoneans disgusted”. Please vote for me. Finally, I ask our parliamentarians to think about passing legislation to reduce the presidential terms and passing legislation to permit continuity of government programs, foreign contracts, projects and protecting the smooth transition of power. If a sitting President loses an election and refuses to hand over power, he or she must be prosecuted and sent to jail. God help our judges get the independence they need to executive their jobs without fear. We pray for an independent judiciary.

  2. Good work for Sierra Leonean keep it up Mr President I wish you good health may the Lord continue to bless you. May the Lord spare your life to continue to work for the next couple of years (2018-2030) Thank you.

  3. Reinhard Wiecha, you took some of the wind out my sails. One would think that a progressive, well-meaning and serious government would strike an agreement with Kingho to extend their train service to surrounding towns to kickstart our rail service once more, and so ease the transportation inadequacies which have been plaguing the country for decades. This should help to create employment in the localities, which should have multiplier effects. But no, Maada Bio and his gang are in deep thought to concoct another way by which they could defraud the nation of billions of Leones and millions of dollars now that their per diem escapades and other methods have been exposed. Somebody once gave the definition of politics as the art of persuasion.

    Clearly, Maada Bio, his Chief Minister and the rest of them do not have a clue about what politics is all about. They unyieldingly believe that it is all about violence and intimidation. With SLPP’s record rotting and stinking in the north and northwest this should be an opportunity for them to claw back their tainted reputation, riding on the typical Sierra Leonean’s susceptibility to amnesia. The nation does not even know in detail the contractual agreement between Kingho and the government. It may well be a source of further enriching the Bio oligarchy. By keeping the nation in the dark perhaps the largest percentage of what should come to us, will find its way into foreign bank accounts owned by Bio, his wife, the Chief Minister and the others.

    I can see a Kandeh Yomkella and NGC government being angelically transparent with the nation and telling us that they have instituted modalities, through which part of what we are to receive from Kingho will go towards restarting our railway system. The strategy, KKY will tell us, is that the government shall owe the Chinese nothing at the end of it all, which should not put us in danger of being recolonised by them as has happened in other parts of the world. KKY has what it takes fellow Sierra Leoneans, let us give him a chance. APC and SLPP are distant relatives of the devil. The devil is on the other side waiting to lead us to hell, whereas APC and SLPP are visiting hell on us right here on Earth.

  4. This railway, is only used to transport the iron ore or are there considerations to use it for the public in connection with villages and towns like Makeni, Lunsar, Port Loko?

  5. I hope the next government that comes in, doesn’t cancel Kingho mining licences operation on the whim. This has always been an area where past and present government have shot themselves in the foot, by declaring agreements made by foreign investors with the government they replaces, null and void. For instance the recent judgement made against our government in a UK court brought about by SL Mining, after their licence was cancelled in October 2019 by the BIO government. Although the government argued the company breached its contractual obligations. But that is beyond the point. Whatever happened to third party arbitration.

    Yes new governments can review contracts. If they find those contracts go against the interest of the country, they can always in the first instance speak to the company, and see if they can reach an amicable agreement with the company concerned. Otherwise, use a third party arbitration system to resolve any outstanding issues. It is in the interest of both parties to reach an agreement. In the absence of that, we should pass a law that states clearly, no new government should cancel existing agreement with foreign investors, unless in extreme cases. What counts for extreme, like if they failed to honour their agreements.

    Damage to the environment, and not paying their dues to government coffers. Otherwise, if the new government unilaterally candles this agreement, and it goes to court and government is found to have broken an agreement, we end up paying more in fines than what the government was hoping to save for the country. If disputes are resolved amicably, without using the defunct “POAPA” language, it will help foreign investors have more confidence in our dispute resolution system. That way they won’t shy away from coming to invest in our country. Foreign investors are always looking to invest in countries, where the rule of law, security, accountability, and above all else the judiciary is independent of the executive branch of government.

  6. Definitely some good news. Irrespective of obvious clandestine moves by regime officials, to defraud our citizens in dealing with this Chinese company, we welcome the resuscitation of mining activities in this part of the country. Almost 3 years has elapsed since these regime officials took reckless and irresponsible steps in dismantling and chasing away mining investors. After massive untold suffering and the loss of millions in government revenues, we are back to square one, dubious and shade deals with Chinese company. You begin to wonder, what was all the fuss about? Does this ring a bell about the purported corruption fight??

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