Mining companies frustrate development in Koinadugu district
Koinadugu, Feb 6 (SLENA) – While licenses are being given to so-called investors for the mining of various minerals in the country, the people of Koinadugu district have expressed frustration over the way and manner the Ministry of Mines gives out licenses to mining companies to do mining or exploration without the total knowledge of the community or chiefdom authorities. (Photo: Hon. Alhassan Jero Kamera …ready to stand by his people)
Paramount Chief Momodu Koroma II of Musaya Chiefdom has said for the past five years or more mining companies have occupied their lands without engaging in any sober mining activities.
Giving specifics, PC Koroma cited the Rimco Mining Company which he noted has sign posts all over his chiefdom but doing no mining business.
“Every day is just promises of coming to start but you don’t see them, “the chief fumed.
The chief noted that some companies just go to the Ministry of Mines to obtain exploration licenses without informing the community so that they get involved in the process.
On his part, Paramount Chief Alhaji Alimmamy Lahai V of Sinkunia Chiefdom re-echoed comments by the Musaya chief about Rimco Mining Company having many sign posts in their chiefdoms for the past five years without doing any development activities in their chiefdoms.
The chief blamed the ministry of mines for not involving them in the negotiations and the signing of the agreements. “They never realized that we are the custodians of the lands,” the chief lamented, noting the presence of these companies in their chiefdoms has affected their agricultural activities.
Speaking to SLENA this past Wednesday, PC Alimamy Lahai V said the National Mineral Agency was in his chiefdom last week to investigate the activities of Rimco Mining Company and other mining companies operating in his chiefdom.
Member of Parliament representing that part of the country, Hon. Alhassan Jero Kamara of constituency 48 has also said that no consultation or formal meeting has ever been held with him in relation to the operations of Rimco mining company in his constituency, stressing that the interest of the community should be paramount in terms of mining and development as they are the custodian of their lands.
The MP said he has received several complaints from his people regarding the Rimco mining company for occupying their lands while no operation was taking place.
The Member of Parliament urged the ministry of mines to involve all stakeholders in the process in order to maintain peace and promote development in his constituency.
APC District Chairman, Koinadugu, Dr Alhaji Fasineh S. Samura also condemned the Rimco mining company and blamed the mines ministry. ”They are just holding on to our lands which is unfair to our people,” he said, saying that any company that wishes to operate in their chiefdom has to go through the government, the chiefdom level and land owners.
Responding to allegations, Rev. Augustine, representing Rimco mining company said mining has many processes in identifying the area, do survey, observe the quality and the ample process, adding that the sample was done in south Africa and that romantic survey will be completed to actualize the commencement of operation.
He disclosed that the company has spent about $55,000,00 to the government in obtaining licenses for the process, saying equipment for the mining process have arrived in Kabala and that in the not too distant future they will start operation.
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