Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 February 2020:
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources – Foday Rado Yokie, told reporters last week that reviewing the government’s agreements with mining companies and the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009, is aimed at ensuring that the people of Sierra Leone benefit from the country’s mineral resources.
Speaking at a weekly government press briefing in Freetown, he said in the next week his ministry will conduct nationwide consultations that should lead to the amendment of the 2009 Mines and Minerals Act.
Sierra Leone he said, has been losing millions of dollars in royalties and taxes to mining companies; money he said, that should have been spent on tackling poverty in the country.
He also spoke about the legal action brought against the government of Sierra Leone by SL Mining, following the government’s decision to suspend its contract. The case he said is still in court and therefore cannot comment on the matter. (Photo: Minister of Mines – Foday Rado Yokie).
He however denied as fake news, social media reports suggesting that the government has lost its case to SL Mining company and ordered to pay eight hundred million dollars in damages.
The Director General of the National Minerals Agency – Julius Daniel Mattia, told reporters that sixteen thousand jobs will be created before the end of this year in the mining sector, but did not say which mining companies will create these jobs and how.
The government is still struggling to find investors to take over the mining operations of companies whose contracts have been terminated by the minister of mines; and the few mining companies that are currently in operation do not have the capacity to create additional jobs.
Critics are accusing the ministry of mines of peddling unrealistic claims about job creation in a sector that is struggling to maintain its current production schedules.
The Director General of the National Minerals Agency said that the mining sector is expected to increase its contribution to the country’s GDP by 100 percent by the end of 2023 – an election year, when the people of Sierra Leone will go to the polls to decide whether to renew president Bio’s mandate to govern the country.
Presenting an optimistic outlook for the mining sector, he said that investors are very willing to come into the country and invest in the mining industry.
He said that over the last few years fifteen large scale mining licenses have been issued and that four operational mines are up and running. A year ago, he said, there were only two small scale mining companies but currently there are thirteen.
He informed reporters that license of concession has been granted to Kingo Mining Company along with three others that are going to create thousands of jobs this year.
Speaking about the recently conducted Geo-Physical survey, he said that for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone, the country now knows how much minerals it has as opposed to the past when companies tell the government how much minerals they are shipping out with nothing to prove if they are telling the truth or not.
He said that in 2019, 274 Mining Monitors were employed and they have been deployed all over the country to monitor and make sure the mining companies do what they are supposed to do for the country to realize greater profit from the sector.
He stated that the best and largest Rutile in the world is in Sierra Leone and that Sierra Leone supplies 30 percent of the world’s natural Rutile.
Another APC surrogate using their political playbook to criticize the current government for taking measures against unscrupulous mining companies that were reaping the benefits of the country at the expense of the citizenry.
Thanks President Bio for fighting corruption at all levels.
What benefits has mining industry done to Sierra Leone? Absolutely zero. Why ?? Because previous governments have been cheating its citizens by going into deals with those companies that were totally of no benefit to the people of Sierra Leone. Take for instance, diamonds were discovered in Kono in 1930 but no development in that part of the country.
Sometimes it is good to reflect on the historical context of mining in Sierra Leone and see how illogical it will be to be a proponent of such activities on the environment.
Mining in Sierra Leone is more than a curse to Sierra Leone than a viable economic engine. Governments and mining companies in the past have been corrupt entities that have failed the people. So it is expedient that checks are put in place to prevent reoccurrence of excesses that have been prevalent in the past.
I can understand the frustrations of certain colleagues but the fact is that mining has never been a blessing to Sierra Leone, so suspending any mining company in the interest of the nation is welcoming. Shaddy deals are no longer welcome. If people are shouting because of political gimmick shame on them for being un-nationalistic and unpatriotic.
Straight talk Mr. Melvin Mattia. Take Kono District for example. What serious development has the most precious stone -Diamond, brought to that rich district since 1930? Let them tell me. Nothing tangible in my view.
All I am seeing is big holes and contaminated ponds for dangerous and poisonous snakes to nest. Is that fair? Also, Kono City is becoming a Quarry City by the minute. Can you imagine?
Mining has just become a curse due to bad and disastrous politics and politicians over the ages. Sad. However, we have to live with this messy mining curse till 2023. I believe, everything will get sorted in 2023 when we “GET SALONE sorted” through a dynamic and progressive APC leadership. I say Amen and I ask everyone to say Amen, in Jesus’ name.
God help the people of KONO benefit from their diamonds. God bless the C4C and the leaders. God bless the people of KONO. Amen and Amen.
While the proceeds from mining activities have not been fairly shared among the indigenes of Mama Salone, this sector of our economy has been the bedrock for government revenues as far as my memory can go. Prior to the war, diamond mining was the bread winner for our nation. The mining of rutile in the South-east was another source of revenue. During EBK tenure, the iron ore mining was even a bigger factor leading to our economy classified as the fastest growing in the world.
So by all indications, in the absence of other natural resources like oil, we definitely need our mining industry to be up and running to full capacity to sustain our economic development for now. Celebrating or calling for the cessation of mining activities can only be defined as being unpatriotic to Mama Salone, nothing else.
The minister of mines is not transparent to the people of Sierra Leone. Why not come up clear about the court case, so you and the people of Sierra Leone can see the facts than in suspense. It’s about time the youths get jobs after college. He’s telling total lies to Sierra Leoneans.
They lost the court case, because any mining agreement signed must not be breached or it must cost the country dearly and that is happening now. Please my people, do not buy his ideas about degrading the social media. We in the 5G world, nothing is in the dark. There’s plenty of time and we will see, thanks.
Well, that’s where I totally disagree.Reviewing existing mining licences is one thing but defiantly,and unscrupulously cancelling them,another shady,bizarre thing altogether. Mr Rado Yokie,and his lawless boss are well acquainted with the normal guidelines, principles,and laws that govern almost every legitimate, transparent,tangible,and effective business relationship,and undertaking. Yet they went right ahead,arm twisted,bullied,and cheated investors out of that which they were legally entitled to as stated,explicitly,and rightfully in existing contracts that were still lawfully,and credibly valid. And now,they are changing tune,adding to their story,saying it was all being done in the interest of our beloved nation.(lol)
What a bunch of baloney! Now,I ask you Sir,will you cheat,rob,and steal from others to feed your children because they are hungry? Don’t answer just yet,because your response is bound to become a completely glaring mirror of the kind of person you really are. What rightfully belongs to others is their lawful property,and tampering,and influencing things,using power,and authority for your own advantage is plain,and outright theft. The SLPP owes SL Mining and others a public heartfelt apology, and a full restitution of all the rights they have already forfeited,and consolations that had been stripped away,must be fully restored. Its the right thing to do,then you can start the process of renegotiating contracts all over again to your advantage,if you so desire.
Again,the creation of 16,000 mining jobs is another big FAT lie.What will such a small army of people be doing exactly?(lol) Liars,in crocodile tears with pants raging with fire. Time flies,yet you foolishly indulge yourselves in telling lies,instead of finding effective ways to organise,strategize,and prioritise your worthless, hopeless agendas (lmao)…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.