Chairman Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina
By Shadrach Aziz Kamara
The Chairman Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina has applauded the management of the National Minerals Agency for their relentlessly efforts for transforming the mining sector.
Hon. Lamina made this statement on Monday 21st June 2021, whilst presenting the third session of the oversight report of the Mines and Minerals Resources Committee in Parliament. Hon. Lamina informed the Well of Parliament that NMA and the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources have helped in boosting the economy of the country. He also informed colleagues’ parliamentarians that there is a need for the government to investigate the issuance of mining licenses at the Valunia Gold Mines in Bo District. Hon. Lamina added that in consistent of the mandate of the Committee in Act No. 6 of Section 93 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone mandated them to enquire and investigate the activities of ministries, departments and agencies. He reiterated that Algon Resources Mining Company Limited was unfairly treated, and therefore, he maintained that there should be equal opportunities to players in the mining sectors.
“Firstly, the Ministry of Mines and NMA have done a great task in pushing the mining sector,” he said. According to Hon. Lamina FG Gold Mining Company is said to have been given mining license to operate in the Valunia Gold Mines to the disadvantage of Algon Resources Mining Company and others. This he described as unfair treatment. He said all investors deserve equal opportunity and treatment in granting of mining concession.
Hon. Lamina said the Third Session of the Mines and Mineral Resources oversight report of mining companies in the South, East and North part of the country was to look at the general operations of mining companies across the country.
He continues that the mining sector is very much significant for the growth of the economy of the country, adding that it has the potential of employing at least three thousand people.
“The mining sector has a potential of employing at least three thousand people,” he said, adding that during the cause of their oversight, they noted that Sierra Leoneans have gained more employments in all of the mining companies operating in the country.
The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the refined standing order of parliament, he went on to say that the committee held engagement with mining stakeholders as well as mining companies including but not limited to Sierra Bauxite, Koindu Holding Limited, Algon mining Limited and Sierra mining company” he highlighted.
“Also, mining stakeholders including NMA, Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and stakeholders in the Valunia Chiefdom in Bo District with some objective to ascertain first-hand piece of information on the current status of mining companies and to also ascertain the level of compliance in relation to environmental protection, Corporate Social Responsibility, the Local Content Policy concerns and to discuss the challenges of these mining companies and their success as well.
The Leader of C4C eluded section 93 of the powers of the committee in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and section 105 which gives them the powers to call on Ministers to enquire and investigate to get required information. He said the committee members cut across party lines including the APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C and Paramount Chief Member of Parliament. He said the Committee observed that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources has in line with government policies has done remarkably work in reviewing the require legislation to deliver maximum benefit to the people of Sierra Leone. “The committee urges the ministry to forward the revise draft of the Mines and Mineral Act for ratification in this house” he stated. He stressed that the mining sector is very much essential to the development of every nation, adding that the recommendations presented by the Committee should be treated very seriously and should be considered by the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the NMA in applying some of their key mining policies.