Parliament Ratifies Mining Lease Agreement with ‘African Minerals’

Written by / Monday, 23 August 2010 12:46

Parliament on Friday ratified the mining lease agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the African Minerals Limited Group of Companies for the mining of iron ore in the Tonkolili District.

 

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, said the agreement means that African Minerals would move from exploration to actual mining. He said the agreement made provision for the country to get a net profit of forty one percent share of every product of the company, while fifty nine percent will go to the company.

Alhaji Kanu said one hundred and seventy eight million dollars has been projected for 2012 which he said would mean a fifty percent budgetary support to the country’s economy.

He said the projection was expected to increase in 2018 to one billion dollars. The agreement is expected to last for twenty-five years and is subject to review every five years.

Honorable Chernoh Bah is the Chairman of the Mines and Mineral Committee in Parliament. He said the agreement was binding and had compliance laws which would bring hope to the country.

He said the agreement would bring about “financial independence” for the country. Members of Parliaments in their contributions supported the agreement, though some cautioned the government to ensure that every Sierra Leonean benefits from the operations of the agreement in spite of its location.

But the National Coalition on the Extractives (NACE) has criticised the ratification of the agreement noting, among other things, that it contravenes the existing mining legislation.

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