Illicit Miners, Others Warned

 

His Excellency the President Rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio has in his recent engagement with Paramount Chiefs warned against illicit mining and timber logging in the country.

Addressing Paramount Chiefs on illicit mining and timber logging, the President recalled that as soon as he took up office, he suspended timber logging in the country but that to his greatest surprise, people were smuggling timber logs into neigbouring Guinea while the suspension was still in force.

“Timber trading and illicit mining, according to investigation were going on to the knowledge of local authorities even when there was a ban on it,” fumed the first gentleman.

“We have seen documents granting mining rights to investors by from local authorities without the knowledge or approval of the central government.” said President Bio.

Paramount Chiefs, President Bio said, are supposed to be custodians of the law at local level and pioneers of economic development in their chiefdoms. He therefore cautioned them to desist from such act as according to him, under his watch as President, he would not sit back and allow them derail the country’s economic growth.

In Tonkolili District, the President said, reports have reached him regarding child labour and sexual slavery by some illicit foreign miners which, he said, to find a solution to it there has to be a dialogue with the involvement of the Paramount Chiefs.

Meanwhile, the President has instructed the Mines and Mineral Resource Ministry for further consultations with local authorities in finding ways to curtail illicit mining.