Cluff Gold pays surface rent to locals at Baomahun
Cluff Gold Mining Company with a license to explore Gold in Sierra Leone for subsequent mining has once again fulfilled the rules and regulations of the revised mines and minerals Act of the Republic of Sierra Leone by paying Le146,524,200 to local authorities at Baomahun village in the Valunia Chiefdom Bo District Southern Sierra Leone. (Photos: Cluff Gold Country Manager Alusine Jalloh and staff handing over the Le146m cheque as surface rent for Locals in Baomahun to the Deputy Minister of Mines Abdul Ignosi Koroma)
This is the second surface rent paid to local authorities in the chiefdom for a period of three years till 2011 when the surface rent will expire, Mines Ministry Officers, local government and chiefdom authorities present at the handing over ceremony commended Cluff Gold for fulfilling the surface rent payment.
Cluff Gold is focused on the identification, acquisition, development and operation of gold deposits in West Africa that are amenable to open-pit mining and low cost production techniques. The Group has assembled a portfolio of mineral interests at various stages of development in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali and Sierra Leone.
Alusine Jalloh who has a productive wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Mining industry has recently been appointed as Country Manager of Cluff Gold in Sierra Leone to boost the viability of the company.
Speaking at the handing over of the cheque to the Land holding families, traditional chief and Local council authorities, the Country Manager of Cluff Gold said the company has not yet commenced Gold Mining or production. He however expressed the company’s commitment and determination to fulfill their obligation to the host community in Baomahun village.
The Country Manager also said that the company is ready to work with the people in the chiefdom to support and promote community development programs that will benefit the ordinary people in the chiefdom.
He added that during one of his visits to the chiefdom he observed that most of the roads are in a terrible state and needed urgent repairs, “Cluff Gold is currently working towards the rehabilitation of most of the damaged feeder roads at Baomahun.” He assured.
He also spoke about plans to undertake needs assessment survey in the community in close collaboration with the people so as to identify priority needs of the people in the chiefdom for a subsequent mapping out strategy to address community needs.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Political Affairs Abdul Ignosi Koroma expressed thanks and appreciation to the Cluff Gold Mining Company for their commitment in fulfilling their requirement according to the mines and minerals Act.
The Deputy Minister properly explained about the surface rent and it distribution methods according to the Act which indicates that Land Owners are entitled to 50%, District Council 15%, Paramount Chief15%, Chiefdom Administration 10% and 10% for constituency development fund.
He encouraged the people to use the surface rent paid by Cluff Gold to turn around Baomahun for economic growth and sustainable development.
The Director of Mines in the Mines and Minerals Ministry Jonathan Sharka also warned illegal miners to stop using mercury chemical in the Gold Mines because it poisons the water and the environment which may have future effects on the people.
Director of Local Government AJP Lebbie and the Paramount Chief of Valunia Chiefdom James Vonjoe commended Cluff Gold for promptly paying the surface rent and assured the company of cordiality.
The Provincial Secretary South George Banya while chairing the ceremony implored local authorities to judiciously utilize the funds for the development of the are and urged the people of Baomahun to support Cluff Gold for the rapid development of the area.
Distribution of cash cheques to land owners and local authorities and a conducted tour of Cluff Gold facilities by officers of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development formed a high point of the ceremony.
The Group’s resource position was significantly increased during 2009 with the announcement of results from further drilling at Baomahun, the Group’s flagship gold exploration project in Sierra Leone, The Board which has considerable experience in developing mining operations across Africa, Cluff Gold is well positioned to grow its asset base in the region.
by Saidu Bah
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