Parliamentary Committee uncovers poor adherence to mining rights

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Hon. Emerson Lamina, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Minerals Development

By Jariatu S. Bangura

Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Minerals Development, has revealed significant non-compliance with mining laws by companies operating in Kono and Port Loko districts.

Following the presentation of the first sessional report on mining activities in those districts, Hon. Lamina expressed concern over the lack of Mining Lease Agreements (MLAs) among several mining companies, a fundamental requirement under the mining laws.

Hon. Lamina emphasized the critical role of the mining sector in Sierra Leone’s economy, noting that it contributes 24 percent of the GDP and accounts for 80 percent of the country’s exports.

The sector also has the potential to employ around 300,000 people directly or indirectly, underlining the importance of adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks.

During the committee’s investigation, it was discovered that CTC Mining Company in Yainkasa, Port Loko district, is facing challenges with exporting their stockpiles due to the absence of an MLA with the National Minerals Agency. As a result, the committee has summoned both parties to resolve this issue.

In Kono, the committee found that Meyar Mining Company’s documentation is outdated, failing to comply with the one percent levy and lacking an updated MLA.

Additionally, Sea Right Mining in Kono does not possess an MLA, and there are significant internal conflicts among shareholders, with one holding 70 percent and the other 30 percent. This discord is hindering mining activities and delaying the community development agreements (CDAs) that the people of Gbense are eagerly awaiting.

Hon. Lamina stressed that the community cannot receive CDAs until the companies begin exporting their proceeds. As part of their oversight function, the committee has summoned both the supervisory ministry and the National Minerals Agency to provide updates and ensure compliance for the benefit of the country.

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