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Sierra Leone Business: Four mining companies pay $52m in 2017 to NRA and other agencies

The Director General of the National Mineral Agency (NMA) Sahr Wonday has disclosed that in 2017, the four operating large scale mining companies, Tonkolili Iron Ore, Sierra Rutile, Sierra Minerals and Koidu Holding paid a total of $52 million dollars to NRA and other government agencies across the country. He made this disclosure during the launching of the mining journal at the Miatta Conference hall on Thursday 15th November 2018. The Director said in the recent years and prior to the steep decline in iron ore price, mining revenue as a percentage of NRA revenue was around 20%. He added that revenue from the “mining sector as a percentage of GDP also exceeded 20%.” Sahr Wonday pointed out that those three mining companies employed more than six thousand people, which is a huge number when you consider the employment rate. He underscored that “the mining sector should play a critical role in supporting our development agenda” adding that they “are committed to support the creation of an enabling environment for mineral sector investment for the benefit of our people.” He highlighted a key priority is to ensure that license management process is very transparent with allocation of mineral right based on strict eligibility criteria designed towards attracting only credible investors with proven track record. He added that good governance of the mining sector is critical for Sierra Leone to attract the right kind of investment and fully maximise the potential benefit of its mineral wealth. “We will support investors by developing clear and accessible guideline for investment.” Director Wonday said mining companies will contribute at least 1% of their gross revenue to the community development fund, adding that it will provide funding for education, health and general development of mining communities. According to the Deputy Minister of Mines Evelyn Blackie in 2000, Sierra Leone made history as the first country to adopt the Kimberly process certification scheme (KPCS) to regulate the trade in diamonds. She pointed out that “there is a significant capital requirement to quantify, exploit and market these mineral for the people of Sierra Leone to reap the benefits. This is where investment promotion and the need for foreign direct investment come into play.”

By Mohamed J. Bah

Monday November 19, 2018.

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