18 June 2009

Sierra Leone: 2009 Draft Mining Act Reviewed

Concord — The 2009 draft mines and mineral Act has been reviewed by a committee comprising the ministry of mineral resources, national revenue authority, ministry of finance and the strategic policy unit.

Minister of mineral resources, Alhaji Alpha Kanu said the draft bill looked at ways of maximizing benefits from the mining activities in the country.

He said the bill would increase the tax regime which would see people benefits from mining activities adding, "A lot of changes have been made as to how we give mineral rights."

"This will be the final review of the draft mining act after which, it will be taken to cabinet for approval. Once it is approval by cabinet, it will then be taken to parliament for it to be passed into law," he said.

He said the people of Sierra Leone would have more benefits from the diamonds when the bill is passed into law, noting that civil society organizations were consulted to make their own inputs on the bill.

"The 2009 mining act will provide more ownership, control and monitoring into the activities of mining companies. The government will have 30% free-equity from mining companies as compare to 3% in the past," he maintained.

Kanu said the government was very much concerned about the use of children in mining activities adding that they would ensure that they discourage it totally.

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