9 November 2012

Liberia: Mineral Law Under Review

The government plans to shortly conduct a nationwide stakeholders' consultation process aimed at reviewing mineral laws of Liberia, Lands and Mines Minister Patrick Sendolo affirmed here Thursday.

He said the new reform process for the mineral laws aims at ensuring that the nation and its people benefit from natural resources God has endowed the country with.

"It has become almost trite to say that the Liberian people have not benefited from the mineral resources with which God has endowed us.

"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," Minister Sendolo lamented.

Seeing in a retrospective mood, he added: "We see that this has wrought 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."

To be able to fully address the situation and provide a new paradigm shift, Minister Sendolo said a national stakeholders' consultation is set to begin in Bensonville on Wednesday, 14 November 2012.

The stakeholders' consultation process, he added, would include community representatives, especially areas hosting mining groups or companies, as well as ordinary Liberian citizens.

The entire exercise, including consultations and drafting of the new mineral laws, Minister Sendolo revealed, would last until mid-2013.

"One of the key constraints in achieving our ambitions with respect to our mineral resources is inadequacy of the legal and regulatory framework governing the mining sector, of which the Minerals and Mining Law of 2000 is a central part," he indicated.

He described the Mineral and Mining Law as "outdated and recent developments in the global and domestic mineral industry, including how mineral rights are exchanged and traded, pose new challenges in respect of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 maiming the benefits that flow to Liberian people from exploitation of our resources."

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