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Sierra Leone Business: Mines ministry collects over $2m from mining companies

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Dr Morie Manyeh has disclosed that his ministry has collected over $2 million USD from mining companies.
According to the Minister mining companies owe the government $21 million USD, which he said has also affected the revenue generation of his ministry. He said they are targeting the first six months of 2019 to get the remaining money.
Dr Manyeh stressed that mining companies are reluctant to pay their dues, noting that his ministry will do all they could to collect all of that money from them. “Under my tenure as minister in this ministry, transparency and accountable must be attained by anybody who is doing business with us.”
Manyeh said they have cancelled 34 mining licenses, which he said will open up space for potential investors in the mining industry.
He underscored that currently his ministry is faced with a lot of challenge in order to generate revenue.
According to the Minister only three big mining companies are currently operating in Sierra Leone which are Vimetco, Sierra Rutile and Koidu Holding. He said his ministry generally contributes between 20- 24 percent of the Country’s GDP and that figure is going down as a result of mining companies leaving the shores of Sierra Leone.
The Minister said they are going to review the Mines and Mineral Act and also several mining agreements that are currently in existence. The ministry he said will be engaged on an aerial survey in order to detect the area the country has minerals, so that they can be in better position while negotiating with investors.
He said one of the biggest mining investors in the country from Tonkolili, Tonkolili Iron Ore has opted to leave the shores of Sierra Leone, as they have asked for two years sabbatical leave and officially wrote to the police and copy the ministry in order for their equipment to be transferred to Tanzania. “Although we are in negotiations with other people, but this has been the problem on how we can bring these companies back”
By Mohamed J. Bah
Monday July 30, 2018.

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