Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom Dispels False Claims of Koidu Limited Mining Operations

By Alpha Sesay

Hon. PC Paul N. Saquee-V, Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom, convened a stakeholders’ engagement meeting on April 12, 2024, addressing concerns surrounding the underground Kimberlite mining operations conducted by Koidu Limited in Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono District. This initiative sought to address the controversies and apprehensions arising from social media discussions and misconceptions regarding the impact of the mining activities.

Various stakeholders, including representatives from Koidu Limited, community leaders, environmental activists, media personnel, District and City Council members, civil society organizations, women’s and youth groups, traditional and religious leaders, Members of Parliament from Kono District, and Government officials, gathered at the Fillie Faboe Memorial Hall in Tankoro for the meeting.

Hon. PC Paul N. Saquee-V initiated the discussions by recounting the immediate steps taken by stakeholders following the circulation of a misleading video on social media.  He said efforts were made to disseminate accurate information through local radio broadcasts and a press release issued by the National Minerals Agency (NMA) adding that despite those efforts, some individuals, particularly those in the diaspora, continued to fuel tensions by inciting the youth to engage in demonstrations.

He urged restraint and emphasized the importance of verifying information through engagement with local structures and stakeholders before resorting to disruptive actions. According to him, the main purpose for convening the meeting is to foster open dialogue, provide clarity on the situation, and discredit false claims propagated by malicious individuals.

Reflecting on the devastating legacy of the civil war in Kono District, Hon. PC Saquee-V appealed for the use of proper channels to address concerns related to mining activities. He underscored the positive contributions of Koidu Limited to the community through various development projects.

Kai Lebbie, the NMA Regional Manager, reiterated that Koidu Limited is operating within its designated concession area and is complying with regulations. He emphasized the rigorous procedures involved in obtaining mining licenses and the importance of environmental impact assessments.

The Mayor of Koidu City, Komba Mathieu Sam, reaffirmed the company’s adherence to international best practices.

Miles Van Eeden, Acting General Manager of Koidu Limited, highlighted the company’s commitment to responsible mining, environmental preservation and community development initiatives. He assured stakeholders of transparency and collaboration in addressing community concerns.

Political representatives, including Hon. Finda Lucinda Kellie, Hon. Rebecca Yei Sam, and Hon. Musa Fofana, echoed the sentiments of previous speakers.

In his keynote address, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina emphasized the significance of the gathering in seeking the interests of the State, the people, and the investor.

He urged Diasporians to engage constructively and cautioned against inciting unrest also emphasizing President Bio’s commitment to transparent mining practices and reassured the community of their safety amidst Koidu Limited’s Kimberlite mining operations.

The Tankoro Youth Council, represented by Sahr Octovious Fallah, expressed gratitude to Hon. PC Paul N. Saquee-V for organizing the meeting and encouraged fellow youths to uphold the law and refrain from unlawful behavior.


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