34 Mining Licenses Cancelled

 

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Dr. Morie Manyeh has disclosed that 34 mining licenses have been cancelled following authentic proves that some were not put into use after acquiring them.

Dr. Morie Manyeh made the disclosure when updating the media on the status of the mineral sector in the country on Monday 23rd July, 2018 at the Ministry’s Conference Hall in Freetown.

According to the Minister, some people purporting to be investors acquired mining licenses without putting them into use for which the Ministry reached the decision to withdraw all such unused licenses.

Dr. Morie Manyeh further disclosed that only three mining companies, Illuka Resources (Sierra Rutile), Vemetco and Octea are currently operational in the country while the others, he said, are out of operations with Shandon Steel calling for police clearance and protection to relocate their assets to Tanzania in East Africa after ceasing operations for some time.

Because many of the mining companies have ceased operations, the Ministry said, the Government is struggling with revenue generation in the mining sector which is high on its list. The Ministry, Dr. Manyeh said, generally contributes 25% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and serves as the highest foreign currency earner for the economy.

“The revenue status at the moment nowhere nears its potential base which is posing a big challenge,” the Minister lamented, adding that their concern is how the Ministry could revamp the operations of these mining companies that have ceased operations to help reduce unemployment rate and increase or improve on the economy.

Meanwhile, the Minister has disclosed that the Ministry has begun the process of reviewing the 2009 Mining Act which, he said, has a lot of gaps that were not in the interest of the country, especially communities and people where mining companies operate. He assured that the Ministry would prioritize transparency and accountability from their partners, Sierra Leoneans and anybody wishing to do business with them for Sierra Leone to move forward.