On February 12, 2023, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee of Mines and Mineral Resources paid a visit to the Kingho Mining Company in Tonkolili District, a subsidiary of Leone Rock Metal Group (LRMG), to conduct oversight and understand the relationship between the mining company and the community stakeholders. Members of Parliament, the Company’s management team, Paramount Chiefs, other local stakeholders, and journalists were part of the oversight visit and subsequent meeting held thereafter.
Following a cordial welcome from LRMG management and staff, the members of the Committee of Mines and Mineral Resources, local stakeholders and representatives from various media houses were given an overview of the company by Ing. Samuel Kamara, Compliance Manager of LRMG. During his presentation, Ing. Kamara started with a brief summary of the company profile; “The company was first established in Sierra Leone in July 2010 and currently holds 4 Large scale Mining Licenses (Kingho Mining License, Northern Mining, CKH, and Mass Energy) with six years of operation and management rights to the 192 km Railway and Pepel Port”. He further stated that the cumulative investment of LRMG in Sierra Leone over the years exceed $US 595,707,020.65 and the company’s current activities are; Mining, Processing Haulage, and Export of Iron Ore. He noted that the company achieved a fully integrated supply chain by April of 2021. To the applause of everyone in the hall, he confirmed that the company successfully exported 5.896 million tons of Iron Ore in 2022 and put the current human resource capacity (employees) at 3,664. The presentation ended with highlight of the company’s five-years plans and immediate investment of $US230 million to commission the construction of a beneficiation plant in March 2023 that will process the saprolite material to produce 62% Iron concentrate over the next 30 years with high revenue and employment potential for Sierra Leone. To the excitement of the audience, he reiterated that the company has invested a total of $US 785,000 in 2022 alone in various community development ranging from CDA payments, CDAP project implementation and CSR activities. In addition, the presentation clearly articulated LRMG’s proposal to the government for the expansion of the railway and Pepel Port within a period of 2 years that will allow multi-user bulk commodity transportation and export for all companies along the rail corridor. This expansion will generate over 700 jobs and help stabilise the economy with increase mineral and bulk commodity export for the benefit of the Government and people of Sierra Leone.
Speaking during the visit, the Chairman, committee on Mines and Mineral resources in Parliament Hon. Lamina thanked the Kingho Mining Company (KMC) a Subsidiary of the LRMG for the warm reception noting the purpose of the oversight visit. Hon. Emmerson Lamina started by invoking SO 2 noting that the standing other gives power to parliament as to what language to communicate during deliberations. He briefed the MP’s and stakeholders presents on the significance of the mining industry in advancing the development agenda as outlined in Section 7(1a) of Sierra Leone’s 1991 Constitution. He noted it is mandated for a cross-section of Hon. Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines & Mineral Resources to conduct oversight visitation with Management and Local Stakeholders within any mining concession to have first-hand information on mining activities, and visual assessment of the Company’s operation from Local Stakeholders perspective with regards to Community Resettlement program, Environmental compliance, surface rent, CDA and the general peace within mining communities.
Hon Saa Emmerson Lamina expressed his happiness and satisfaction over the presentation done by Ing. Kamara emphasising his admiration for the rapid transformation of the KMC mining project that has led the company to commence export of 62% Iron Ore within a very short time of its operation, that will contribute significantly to the economic growth of Sierra Leone and create lots of jobs for the youths. He expressed delight over the vertical integration plans of the company that will eventually move the company from DSO mining to steel production that will mark the beginning of industrialisation in Sierra Leone and boost for the foreign exchange reserve.
The Chairman and all visiting MP’s were very impressed with the cordial relationship between the company and the community stakeholders. One of the visiting Hon MP also a member of the committee, thanked the company for the warm welcome and admonished the community stakeholders to take good care of the company as it is the first time they have visited a mining company that has a very good communication link with their stakeholders and involves them all in their plans.
The Regent Chief of the Simira Chiefdom, John T. Kamara, the Paramount Chief of the Dansogoia Chiefdom, PC Alimany B. Y. Koroma, and Hon. PC Musa Jalloh, the paramount chief of the Sambaia Chiefdom in the Tonkolili district, thanked President Bio for changing the mining laws to give local stakeholders the ability to be part of mining decision-making. All stakeholders expressed their willingness to support the company as Leone Rock Metal Group has done so much community development in just 2 years than previous companies did not achieve in 10 years of their operation.
One of the host Members of Parliament, Honourable Rose Mary Bangura, spoke about the company’s positive relationships with traditional leaders and requested that the government gives them all necessary support and protect their investment which will encourage the company to continue with developments in these communities.
The parliamentary committee on mines and mineral resources members promised to update the government on the satisfactory outcome of the visit. According to a representative of the committee in his vote of thanks, “we will not blindly support LRMG, but we will not also sit back and let anyone violate the company rights. As a committee, we want the laws of Sierra Leone to be obeyed, and we want to have a company like LRMG for all the good reasons as we have heard and see here today for ourselves.”