The controversial Koidu Holdings, operating in Kono, is reported to have been bought for $18.25 million by Steinmetz Group which has increased its stake to 65%.
This is contained in a report prepared by Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) – Sierra Leone and Campaign for Just Mining (CJM).
The report, which was launched yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 10th annual strategic meeting of the Africa Initiative on Mining Environment and Society (AIME) at the hotel Cabenda by Ernest Surrur, attracted participants from eleven Africa and Europe countries.
It states that at the Koidu holdings project site blasting is done regularly using powerful explosives, adding that invariably the communities in the vicinity are temporarily evacuated before blasting commences.
According to the report, the study reveals that the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF) is the only significant direct benefit to the people of Kono District in so far as mining is concerned.
The executive director of NMJD, Abu Brima, said AIMES seek to influence the adoption of mining sector policy framework as well as state and corporate practice and behaviours that promote and endure community interest, environmental sustainability and economic development.
He noted that, “AIMES is also a network of organisations, groups, and individuals across Africa, in advocacy to address the imbalance focusing particularly on mining.
Abdulai Darimani from Third World Network (TWN) in Ghana said AIMES was established to see how Africans could benefit from their own resources.
He noted that, “the mining situation needs to change if we want development in our beloved countries”. He also maintained that, “AIMES has to know how the mining sector benefits are shared between government and affected communities in which they operate”.
Ernest Surrur, who launched the report, noted that natural resources should be a blessing than a curse.
He made reference to Botswana where its extractive industries had done development for its citizens but that in Sierra Leone it was the reverse.
Mr Surrur urged the government to be accountable and transparent to its people.