Stakeholders in government and civil society last week endorsed Cluff Gold Mining Company for fulfilling the requirement on public consultations and disclosure of the Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for mining operations at the Baomahun Gold Project in Valunia Chiefdom, Bo District.
The final public consultation and disclosure of the ESIA was held at the Santano House at Howe Street in Freetown and witnessed by the Director of Mines, Chairman of Lands and Environment Oversight Committee in Parliament, EPA officials, affected communities, civil society groups and the public.
The public consultation and disclosure was facilitated by Cluff Gold’s consulting firm, CEMMAT Groups Limited, one of the credible institutions in the country providing services for the mining sector.
After five years of exploration by Cluff Gold Mining Company, arrangements for the public consultation and disclosure on the (ESIA) report has been completed at Baomahun village, Bo City Council and Freetown respectively, for the issuance of certified license by Environmental Protection Agency and related institutions.
The Director of Mines in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Jonathan Sharka, commended Cluff Gold for adhering to the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, noting that the ESIA report paves the way for the issuance of mining license and signing of mining agreement between the government and the mining company.
Chairman Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Lands and Environment, Hon. Baba Madi Kondeh, said “the public consultation and disclosure of the ESIA is unique for mining communities, and commended stakeholders and the public for making their input into the report.
He cautioned Cluff Gold about the rehabilitation of mined-out areas and encouraged the company’s staff to operate according to the rules and regulations of the revised Mines and Minerals Act of 2009 and the EPA Act.
Victor H O Sawyer, Deputy Director Operations, Policy Planning and Research at the Environmental Protection Agency, expressed thanks and appreciation to Cluff Gold and CEMMAT Group Ltd for presenting a realistic Environmental Social Impact Assessment Report that represents the true picture about the company’s mining operations and mitigation measures on environmental effects.
Hon Paul Kamara of Constituency 77 in the Valunia Chiefdom, expressed satisfaction over the Environmental Social Impact Assessment Report submitted by CEMMAT Group Limited.
He encouraged stakeholders to support Cluff Gold Mining Company because of its commitment and determination shown in the areas of funding community development projects and initiatives in education, as well as the rehabilitation of roads and bridges within the mining community.
In his brief remarks at the ceremony held in Freetown, the Country Manager of Cluff Gold Mining Company, Alusine Jalloh, assured stakeholders of the implementation of the ESIA report and the community development plan.
He also called on civil society groups to sensitize mining communities about government’s obligations and the responsibility of the mining company on community development related matters.
Abdul Fofana, Geologist at Cluff Gold Mining Company in a power point presentation, gave an over view of the company’s exploration process and its proposed gold mining operations and processing methods in a protected and safe environment.
Facilitators of the workshop from CEMMAT Group Limited included Oludolapo Akinyosoye Gbonda and Leonard Buckle, while Steve Sesay properly explained to stakeholders about the ESIA report.
The Public Consultation was climaxed by a plenary session, group discussion and stakeholder’s recommendation on the report which CEMMAT Group promised to input in the final report that will be submitted to the Government of Sierra Leone.
By Saidu Bah