9 November 2012

Liberia: 'Outdated Mineral Law'

Lands Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo says Liberia's mineral and mining law is outdated and needs to be revised.

Minister Sendolo observed that the current mineral and mining law which was published in 2000 does not represent present day reality.

He called for the revision of the mineral law to ensure true fidelity to the principles of transparency, accountability, and participation as well as harmony with laws, regulations and policies which have been promulgated over the last few years.

Sendolo said: "Recent developments in the global and domestic mineral industry including how mineral rights are exchanged and traded, pose new challenges in respect of achieving our objective of maximizing the benefits that flow to the Liberian people from exploitation of our resources."

The Lands, Mines and Energy Minister spoke Thursday when he officially launched the consultations process leading to the revision of the 2000 mineral and mining law.

He pointed out that the inadequacy of legal and regulatory framework governing the mining sector has denied Liberians the opportunity to fully benefit from their country's resources.

Minister Sendolo: "It is universally considered that this country has nothing to show for the trillions of dollars which have been earned from exploitation of our resources; looking retrospectively, we see that this has brought poverty, misery, desperation, war, cynicism and despair...all of which have tugged at the social and cultural fabric of our nation, rendering it to shreds; the challenges that our nation face are fundamental; and the responses we fashion in response have to be equally fundamental."

To this, he said the need to have strong legal and regulatory frameworks to govern the country's mineral and mining sector cannot be over emphasized.

Minister Sendolo stressed that the process of revising the mineral and mining law of 2000 would be an inter-governmental effort that would involve several Ministries and agencies.

The Lands, Mines and Energy Minister said the revision process of the mineral and mining law would ensure that the views of all Liberians including, community members, local authorities, traditional leaders, women and youth, civil society organizations, private sector entities and also international partners would be considered.

The consultations process, which is expected to kick off November 14, 2012 in Bensonville, will include 10 consultations fora to ensure the participation of the people.

Minister Sendolo said during the consultations, the people would be given the chance to express their views for inclusion in a framework document.

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