The NEWS (Monrovia)

11 December 2012

Liberia: 'Illicit Mining' in Gbarpolu County

Illicit mining activities are reportedly taking place in Gbarpolu County, the County's Superintendent has disclosed.

Superintendent Allen Gbowee made the disclosure recently at a one-day Mineral and Mining Law Consultation Forum in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

He revealed that illicit miners were also mining in the Gola Forest which is said to be a reserved forest.

Mr. Gbowee said illicit mining is denying the county of resources which could be used for development purposes.

He accused Class 'C' miners for indiscriminately mining in the county without any regard to the environment. Class 'C' miners are individuals licensed by government to carry out small scale mining.

The Gbarpolu County Superintendent alleged that Class 'C' miners are in the habit of digging huge holes and abandoning them to the detriment of citizens.

He disclosed that local county officials were not aware of most of the Class 'C' miners in Gbarpolu, something he said, was an impediment to their work in the county.

Superintendent Gbowee wants the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to always inform local officials about Class 'C' miners assigned in the county to ensure that they operate in their assigned areas for which the licenses were given.

He said the lack of coordination between the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy and local officials was causing problem in Gbarpolu County.

Superintendent Gbowee frowned that it is unfair for people to be given licenses to mine in a county without the knowledge of the local officials.

He observed that it could cause protest against the miners by citizens thereby leading to violence.

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