Campaign for Just Mining (CJM) has expressed dissatisfaction over the incomprehensive approach of the DFID sponsored consolidated Mines and Minerals Act.
CJM’s programme manager, Suna Kumba Bundu, said “this is so because there is no gross under-representation of civil society on the consultative committee and no representation from mining communities”.
He added that there was more governmental and corporate representation on the committee, making it wanting in true democratic and inclusive process.
The programme manager noted that her organisation was demanding that the Law Reform Commission “considers the inclusion of the following sound and reasonable recommendations very seriously if mining laws are to be considered as good laws: that all mining lease agreements should not exceed 15 years subject to the review every five years as previously in the case of Koindu Holdings; agreements signed during the war must be reviewed to reflect the interest of the affected communities and the nation at large; any mining company which does not comply with the provision of its EIA should be made to lose its mining right and fined for damaged; all corporate entities agreement should be tripartite in nature.”
Suna Kumba Bundu explained further that they also wanted the Sierra Rutile Agreement, which is more superior to the Mines and Mineral Act of Sierra Leone, to be terminated. “Therefore a new agreement that is tripartite in nature that is the government, the company and affected communities should be urgently put in place; all political appointments in the mining industry must pass through parliament for approval and royalty fee, dredging fee and contribution to Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF) be increased to 11%, 25 thousands dollars and 2% respectively and be reviewed every two years for upward increment,” she noted.
“We note with concern that the draft Consolidation Mines and Minerals Act of Sierra Leone is incomplete in many respects and does not address some key issues such as adequate beneficiation of local communities, underground mining policy, protection of the human development rights of affected mining communities and democratic governance and power in balance in the sector,” Suna Kumba Bundu stated.
She added further that, “this is grave omission, and the Law Reform Commission needs to address these issues as a social priority”.