Address Granting of Mining Licences
The seemingly failure by Mining stakeholders to persistently monitor the activities of mining companies in this country has left the two parties at each other’s throat.
Some mining companies were reported to have used exploration licenses issued to them by the National Mineral Agency to engage in heavy mining operations instead of the exploration they agreed for.
Unchecked mining activities in the North, East and south of the country have caused some communities devastated while other communities are still crippling to recover from the awful mining activities some mining companies have been undertaken.
It happened with the AML in the iron ore hills around Bumbuna, north of the country when land owners and some redundant workers rise against the AML. This crisis left some members of the community dead whilst others sustained injuries.
The same was also experienced at Mamsumbri, Kafe Semiria chiefdom, in the Tonkolili district when landowners resort to strikes against Chinese companies mining in gold dust.
It Pujehun, it was almost like a war when landowners take to task the Agricultural oil palm company for alleged irregularities in the land agreement among other related concerns.
This resulted to the Agricultural Company became a threat to the affected landowners, ignoring the future benefit of the project.
There were reports of disorder and malicious damage on properties each time the two parties clashed but it is becoming evitable in this country in as much as draconian laws are still embedded in our mining laws.
An American Company Sea Wright mining company engaged in mining operations in Punduru, Gorama Mende Chiefdom in the Kenema district is also reported to have been in conflict with landowners in Punduru Gorama Mende chiefdom where the company is currently operating.
Sources from the community have it that the so called affected landowners have earlier presented their grievances against the operations of the mining company to the relevant stakeholders including the female Paramount Chief for amicable settlement but that some senior authorities in the chiefdom have not showed any interest.
The incident in Punduru is said to have left over hundreds of families stranded for available land to undertake mining activities.
The practice of chiefdom and state authorities manipulating on critical issues relating to mining agreement is set to create bad blood if prompt action is not taken by government and relevant stakeholders.
When the country’s major revenue generation is put under threat by foreign mining/agricultural companies for selfish gains, then the essence of establishing state institutions to regulate policies remains an issue.
Some analysts have condemned the issuance of exploration licenses to companies in areas where artisanal mining has already become the main source of income generation for the people…
The issuance of licenses to companies has to be made very clear.
This is not a new occurrence in this country. Since the advent of mining in the early 1930’s, landowners and mining companies always clash for issues not unconnected with surface rent, concession, lease agreement and corporate social responsibility.
That friendly relationship mining communities enjoy with mining companies in the past seems to have died off, due to bad mining policies.
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