A well-known Civil Society Organization, Accountability Now has urged the Director-General of the National Minerals Agency (NMA), Julius Mattai to step aside and allow investigations into what they described as, `the surreptitious award’ of mineral rights license to FG Gold in Valunia Chiefdom, Bo District.

The Executive Director of Accountability Now, William B. M. Sao-Lamin during a press briefing at SLAJ Headquarters in Freetown yesterday, announced that their investigations into the crucial issue revealed that FG Gold Mining Company only registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in January 2021.

Meanwhile, before the award of licenses to FG Gold Mining Company by NMA, Algom Resources Limited Mining Company had previously operated the Baomahun gold site after it secured a four-year Exploration License on January 9, 2017. Yet it is not clear what precipitated NMA’s latest action.

The group said the NMA Director-General should step aside and allow a fresh bidding process for the award of concession to any credible investor by the National Public Procurement Authority, the NRA, Office of the Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Committee on Mines.

They are also demanding that the Environment Protection Agency explain the circumstances leading to awarding an EIA License to FG Gold ahead of the previous miner, Algom Resources.

The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources in June tabled a report in the House of Parliament, indicting the National Minerals Agency (NMA) for unfairly awarding mineral rights license to FG Gold.

In an interview with the Committee Chairperson yesterday, Honourable Saa Emerson Lamina, he said the Committee has received reports from two mining companies: Kwabena company and Algom Resources Limited Mining company for shadowing them in the issuance of the EIA and Mining licenses of the Baomahun gold concession in Valunia Chiefdom by both the National Minerals Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Honourable Lamina said the Committee has documentary evidence indicating that the issuance of EIA and Mineral Rights Licenses to FG Gold is fraught with controversy.

He said Algom Resources Limited, and Kwabena Resources companies were unfairly treated over the award of the license of the Valunia Mines, stressing that all investors in the mining sector deserve equal treatment and equal opportunity to apply for mining concessions and that every action and omission should be avoided.