…Mines Minister Claims
May 8, 2019
By Mohamed Massaquoi
Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources has said in an exclusive interview that he inherited a situation where people applied for mining licenses without having the required capacity to mine, adding that it was a dangerous situation that warranted the cancelation of 40 mining licenses in the country.
Dr. Morie Komba Manyeh said his ministry has developed three core policies that would serve as guides for the smooth running of the ministry, stating that the artisanal, Geo-data and mines policies were significant to ensuring responsible mining.
He added that the primary responsibility of the ministry is to generate revenue for the government and people of Sierra Leone.
On the 31st July 2018, the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the National Minerals Agency clamped down on illegal miners and mineral right holders, who have not been meeting their financial and other obligations to government.
“My ministry is in the spotlight at the moment because it should be a revenue generating ministry. The mineral sector has provided funding for various projects in the health, education and other sectors of developments. It is important to note that by the time we came in as government, we met a lot of challenges. We found out that people were taking mining licenses without having the required capacity to mine. To address all of these problems, we have developed three major policies which will be launched on Thursday. And these are, artisanal, Geo- data and mines policies. It is unfortunate that people were taking artisanal mining licenses but embarked on small scale mining which involved the use of heavy machinery,” he said.
He said his ministry raided a place in Kono district where they arrested some Chines, Turkish and Sierra Leoneans who were strongly involved in illicit mining.
“One of the things the policies will address is about credible miners, child labour and women’s participation in mining activities,” he concluded.