Monrovia — The Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLM&E) will this Friday, August 16th, conduct the final stakeholders' pre-drafting consultative meeting on updating the Minerals and Mining Law of Liberia.
The one-day forum, which takes place at the Monrovia City Hall, brings together the Government, private sector, civil society, political parties, donor partners, among others. They are expected to share views, experiences, and concerns regarding the minerals and mining law and mining activities in the country.
According to Deputy Minister for Operations at the MLM&E, Mr. Sam Russ, since the Mineral and Mining Law came into effect in 2000 there has been since significant changes in their regulatory framework.
“There's a need to update the current Minerals and Mining Law to address needed harmonization with new laws, such as environmental protection and local content requirements, as well as rationalizing the current mining regime to account for artisanal mining,” he pointed out, adding further that there is a need to seek some clarity of the current law to make it more investor friendly.
Deputy Minister Russ said a steering committee chaired by the ML&ME and consist of the Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee - the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs, Justice, Internal Affairs, and Labor as well as the Law Reform Commission, National Investment Commission , the National Bureau of Concession, Environmental Protection Agency, Public Procurement and Concession Commission and the Legal Advisor to the President - has held pre-drafting consultative meetings throughout the country.
He disclosed that consultative meetings were grouped into five regions and held across the country namely: the Central Region (Lofa, Bong and Nimba Counties) in Gbarnga; rural Montserrado County in Bentol City; Western Region (Gbaroplu, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties) in Tubmanburg; Northeast, Eastern Region (Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland, Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties) in Zwedru and South Eastern Region (River Cess, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties) in Buchanan. “In all of these areas, the consultative meetings brought together government representatives, local authorities, traditional leaders, private sector, youth, elders, representatives of political parties, community-based organizations, advocacy and lobby groups, among others,” he said, pointing out that they raised a number of issues including revenue sharing, environment, among others.
He noted that the participants at the various meetings across the country were very elated that Government had gone to them to seek their views and comments before they begin to draft the new Mineral and Mining Law.
Deputy Minister Russ stressed that at the end of the various consultative meetings, they have been looking at the key conclusions.
“We have been looking at the various participants' interests in terms of what the law offers. At the end, all of the sub-national consultation results as well as results from the final pre-drafting consultative meeting on Friday, will be compiled and forwarded to the drafting committee who will then begin their work.” Mr. Russ said.
The pre-drafting consultative meetings are supported by the Ministry's long-time development partners, German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the World Bank.