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U.S. Ambassador Sets the Record Straight

By Kandeh Sesay


United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Brayan David Hunt, held a press conference on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown to address misinformation circulating in local media regarding Marampa Mines’ tax and royalty payments to the government and mining communities.

Ambassador Hunt clarified that Marampa Mines remains one of the largest revenue contributors to the Sierra Leone government. He stated that the company had paid approximately $40 million to the government of Sierra Leone between 2022 and 2023, encompassing taxes and royalties as stipulated in the Marampa Mines agreement. Additionally, he highlighted a $1.74 million payment made in 2023 to the community development fund established for the Marampa and Maforki Chiefdoms, with a similar payment planned for 2024. Ambassador Hunt emphasized that Marampa Mines contractors and vendors are legally obligated to pay further taxes to the government of Sierra Leone.

Regarding the Sierra Rutile takeover issue, Ambassador Hunt emphasized the transparency of the bidding process, which was conducted in collaboration with the Australian Stock Exchange. He clarified that the Sierra Rutile board has yet to take action on the proposed bid by the U.S. company, emphasizing that such processes are standard in international business operations.

Ambassador Hunt underscored that the United States Government maintains neutrality on the bid but is committed to promoting and safeguarding American businesses operating in Sierra Leone through the U.S. Embassy in Freetown. He urged the media to conduct thorough fact-checking before publication and encouraged them to seek information from the U.S. Embassy when necessary regarding American companies.




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