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Sierra Leone News: Commission of Inquiry Testimony from NMA officials

Mining companies in Sierra Leone pay $100 USD to the National Mineral Agency (NMA) per square kilometer of land as a license fee, according to the Director of Geological Survey at NMA, Prince Cuffy. The Director said that amount is stipulated in the NMA Act of 2012, which mining companies must honour, adding that there are sanctions for non-compliance by mining companies. Prince Cuffy was giving testimony before Commissioner Biobele Georgewill on Wednesday 10 April 2019 at the Commission of Inquiry, former Special Court compound. As Director of Geological Surveys, he reports directly to the Director General of NMA and also advises the Minister of Mines on geological matters. The Director furthered that samples generated by the mining companies are taken away by the companies for analysis in other countries. The companies pay $50 USD for every 50 kilograms of sample exported. NMA generates money from the sales of maps to mining investors and they can also generate revenue from the sale of geological literature amongst many other sources of generating money. He confirmed, “I am a signatory to all accounts at NMA.” According to the Director of Public Relations at NMA, Ibrahim Sati Kamara, “We ensure that mining companies pay surface rent to the land owner.” He said 50% of the rent goes to the landowner, 15% to the Paramount Chief, 10% to the Council Development Fund, 15% to the Local Council and 10% to the Chiefdom account. He said the surface rent is paid directly by the mining companies to the community. Recently he said, the people of Foinda village were relocated to a new Foinda in Moyamba by Sierra Rutile Limited. Counsels for the Persons of Interest, Alpha A.B. Kanu, Minkailu Mansaray, Ignosis Koroma and Sahr Wonday, were all present at the Commission. Commissioner Biobele Georgewill adjourned the Commission to Thursday 11 April 2019.

MJB/10/4/19

By Mohamed J. Bah

Thursday April 11, 2019.

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