Director vows to reduce illegal purchase of Coltan
January 29, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Wilkinson Hill Mining Company (WHMC), a subsidiary of AMR Gold, has been granted license by the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources to develop a small scale mine designed to produce columbite and tantalum minerals for an initial period of three years.
Minister Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray granted the mining company license on the recommendation of the Minerals Advisory Board, pursuant to Part XI, Sections 95-96 of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009.
WHMC Country Director, Dr. P.J. Ketelaar, on behalf of the board and directors, welcomed the granting of license and promised to work within the ambit of the law in carrying out mining activities.
“We want to thank the Government of Sierra Leone for providing the enabling environment for our company to not only come and invest, but to provide livelihood support and job opportunities in the country,” said Dr. Ketelaar.
He promised to work closely with the National Minerals Agency (NMA) to reduce and possibly eliminate illegal purchase of Coltan and other sand based mineral concentrates from artisanal miners within AMR Gold’s exploration license areas.
The company’s management revealed that the area for small scale mining that has been granted to them covers one square kilometer in the Sella Limba Chiefdom, Bombali District, and Kathanta village in the east of the country.
The company has already established artisanal mining cooperatives and provided technical assistance and processing equipment to beneficiaries.
Company officials say they strongly believe the establishment of the cooperatives would ensure that artisanal mining is carried out in adherence with environmental best practices, which could see rehabilitated mined out areas transformed into agricultural farm lands that would further provide jobs and ensure food security for the locals.