Mines Minister  Calls  On Mining Companies For Effective Operations

Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba and his team concluded a two-day familiarisation tour

By Mohamed Sheriff 

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba and his team concluded a two-day familiarisation tour, which took place from the 11th September to the 12 September 2020 to three mining companies in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country.  The three companies visited were Sierra Diamonds Limited in Tongo, Kenema District, Sierra Rutile Limited and Sierra Mining Holdings Limited (Vimetco) in Moyamba District.

The purpose of the visits was to know, discuss and find ways on how the Government can help the mining companies in this difficult time when the coronavirus has affected every sector in society.

Officials of the mining companies conveyed gratitude to the Minister and team for taking their time to visit them in order to know how they are faring on during this challenging period. They warmly welcomed the Minister and his entourage in their mines and expressed similar experiences on how hard they have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These mines officials further highlighted some of their plans in the next coming years and revealed the corporate social responsibilities they have fulfilled in their different mining locations before and during the pandemic with particular reference to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in their operational areas and the country at large.

Karl Smithson, Executive Director of Sierra Diamonds Limited said the company is pleased with the way the Government is allowing them to operate in the country.

“Tongo Kimberlite diamonds are hybrid in nature. They are among the best diamonds in the world. The Tongo Diamond Project is one of the important diamond projects in West Africa. The company has plans to provide over 700 jobs for the locals. The landscape of Sierra Leone and Liberia are unique in terms of Mineral in Africa,” he stated.

Theuns De-Bruyne is the Acting Chief Operations of Sierra Rutile Limited. He said over the past two years the company has contributed immensely towards human capital development via training sessions conducted for locals and as well offered educational scholarships to residents in order to further their education in various tertiary institutions in the country.

Basudeb Datta, who is the General Manager of Vimetco maintained that they will continue to pay taxes and appealed to the Minister to consult with the appropriate bodies to see how best taxes could be reduced for them during this trying period.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Resources, Timothy Kabba, expressed thanks and appreciation to the companies for adhering to his call at a short notice.

He commended the companies for their activities both in the mining sector and at the community level enjoining that the companies must brace up so as to be able to kick off mining in full scale for the benefit of their companies and the people since the virus has started subsiding in the country and the world.

The Minister promised that the Ministry will ensure provision of the required help/aid so that the companies will be able to stand the test of time.

“I want to see the companies succeed so that the lives of the people will be better because they own the land and the minerals,” he underscored.

He commended the companies for the scholarships and training they’re giving to the locals and other citizens and encouraged them to continue to offer the kind gestures to the community people.

“I want to encourage the companies to ensure that the communities and the country at large benefit from the ongoing mining process in order for the country not to be a total loser amidst the plenty of resources it has,” he said.

While addressing the workforce of Sierra Diamonds Limited (SDL), Sierra Rutile Limited (SRL), and Vimetco the Mines Minister thanked them for accepting to work for the companies.

“I want to encourage you to work hard, be patient, law abiding, loyal to your country and be supportive to your families for a better life and a better economy,” he said.

He commended the companies for creating job opportunities for the locals and the country at large and promised that the Government headed by President Bio will stop at nothing to make sure that their rights are protected from abuse.

The Minister told them to always feel free to use the right approaches in case they have any issues with their employers. He promised to always be an intermediary between the workers and the companies so that the two will be winners since all of them are working for the country and for-profit purposes.

Some of the workers at SDL, SRL and Vimetco assured the Minister and in extension the Government for their continued support and promised to be law-abiding for the good of the country.







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