Parliament Members Approve More Than 3,000 Jobs in The Mining Sector

Honourable members of the Fifth Parliament of Sierra Leone have on Thursday 16th December 2021 approved two mining agreements that would among other things create more than 3,000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans in the mining sector.

MPs, while approving the Large Scale Mining Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Marampa Mines Limited, and the third amendment of Sierra Rutile’s Concessions to start effective mining activities again, confirmed that the two mining agreements are favourable in the best interest of Sierra Leoneans and the various mining companies.

During the ratification process of two mining agreements, MPs celebrated the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Musa Kabba for bring more goodies from the mining sector to benefit the people of Sierra Leone, especially constituents of mining communities.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, who doubles as the leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) party in the Parliament, praised the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources as one of the greatest gift the country has ever got, adding that the selfless negotiation skills of the Mines Minister has brought enormous goodies as maximizing the revenue from the mining sector, and creating thousands of jobs for Sierra Leonean, especial for indigenes of mining communities, etc.

He thus urged colleague MPs to support the ratification of the said mining documents, adding that the two mining agreements are good for the people of Sierra Leone. He said the approved mining agreement would increase the royalty from the cross earning of Marampa Mines Limited from less than one percent to one percent (1%), has favourable resettlement clause, creates more jobs, and promotes transparency among other things. He confirmed that the country has started benefiting from the said agreement, underscoring that the company has just disbursed ten million dollars ($10.000.000.00) into the country’s consolidated fund with another ten million dollars ($10.000.000.00) to be further disbursed before the end of 2021.

Hon. Saa Emerson said that the approved Sierra Rutile’s Concession is the third amendment deliberately designed to cushion the operations of the company, and ensure to maximize government’s earning from the mining sector, underscoring that the approved concession would among other things create a level working field for Sierra Rutile Limited to continue its operations as one of the longest operating mining companies in the country, create at least three thousand (3,000) jobs to boost the economy of the country, and maximize production of raw mineral.

Other MPs, including those from Rutile and Marampa, said that approving the agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and Marampa Mines Limited is history in the making, adding the company is reputable and credible to operate in the country. They intimated that Marampa Mines Limited and Sierra Rutile Limited are supporting alternative livelihood programs in their host mining communities, asserting that these mining companies are supporting the development of various sectors as health, education, and agriculture among others in mining communities in Port Loko district. They reiterated that the two approved mining agreements would support development programmes in the country, intimating that Sierra Rutile Limited would have scale down operation in January 2021, if the third amendment of its concessions was not approved. They advised that Sierra Rutile Limited, after approving their document to continue operation, should ensure to employ Sierra Leoneans in higher position of trust in the company, and to involve and respect the opinions and views of Paramount Chiefs in their work.

The leader and deputy leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party in the Parliament, Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah, and Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo respectively, supported the ratification of the two mining agreements, adding that they are in the best interest of the country. “The two agreements are very, very useful and important for Sierra Leone,” Hon. I.B. Kargbo asserted. They urged government to be very cooperative with approved mining agreements because the mining sector is part of the survival of the state. They committed as a Parliament to monitor developments and activities in the mining sector, adding that the interest of the state comes first.

The leader of government Business in the House, Hon. Mathew S. Nyuma observed that there are enormous tax concession in the agreements to cushion the financial challenges of the mining companies, urging the Mines Minister to develop mechanism to effectively monitor and ensure that the mining companies comply with every clause, especially with tax regimes in their specific agreements with the state. He reiterated for local authorities, including Paramount Chiefs to be respected in the mining sector.

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Musa Kabba informed that the two agreements are good to maximize the benefit of mining activities in Port Loko district, adding that the approved agreements would uphold both the interests of the two companies and that of Sierra Leone and her people. He assured of his full commitment to ensure that the companies comply with their specific agreement, and to make sure that Sierra Leone maximize more benefit from the mining sector. He confirmed that both agreements were well negotiated in the interest of the country. “I am grateful to the companies and the government of Sierra Leone,” he appreciated.

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