Kandeh Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 February 2020:
Octea Mining Company, operating its Kimberlite diamond mining in the eastern district of Kono, in Sierra Leone may pay huge damages in compensation, after failing to meet its corporate social responsibility to the local community, if the Movement of Affected Property Owners Organisation that has taken the company to the High Court in Kono wins its claims.
It could be recalled that the Movement and the Network Movement for Justice (NMJD) alongside the law firm – C& J legal, asked the High Court in Kono to cause Octea Mining Company to pay compensation for causing damage to farmlands, crops, houses and many other socio-economic disturbances caused in the last few years as a result of continuous mining by the company in Kono.
Chairman of the Movement – Tamba Prince Boima has expressed his satisfaction that the C& J law firm and the NMJD have properly articulated their concerns to the Presiding Judge – Albert Mood.
Lawyers at C&J partners have in their first appearance made their case succinctly to the court but the Presiding Judge had adjourned the matter because lawyers for Octea Mining were absent in court.
In the meantime, Mr.Tamba Prince Boima is calling for a temporal injunction into the operations of Octea Mining to allow them to effectively pay attention to the matter against them by the Movement of the Affected Property Owners.
The NMJD have called on the Movement of Affected Property Owners to exercise patience and absorb all the courage to ensure that the court hears and determines the matter to its logical conclusion.
This is not the first time that Octea Mining is coming under attack from the people of Tankoro for not meeting their legal and corporate social responsibility commitment to the affected communities.
The former Mayor of the Kono New Sembehun Town Council, Saa Emerson Lamin also had a disagreement with the company over the payment of royalties to the Council and the affected communities.
Diamonds were discovered in Kono in the 1930’s but up to date Kono remains hugely impoverished with little or no basic social services.