Mining experts in the country has highlighted progress and challenges facing the industry during a mining conference held at Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
The mining conference was organised by ELEXIA a Media Consultancy Agency in collaboration with London Mining and Sierra Rutile so as to expose students and Journalists on the processes involved in the mining industry.
The Director General of the National Minerals Agency Sahr Wonday gave an overview of the importance of the mining industry in promoting socio-economic development in the country.
Arnold Mason the Director of Geological Survey at the National Minerals Agency also gave a brief background of the types and locations of minerals across the country and the use of minerals.
Engineer Tani Pratt Managing Director of CEMMATS properly explained about exploration stages in mining, designing and development to construction, production and rehabilitation of mined out areas.
He said diamond tax has been reduced to 3% from 15% due to the harmonization of the tax regime in the sub region so as to discourage smuggling by alluvial miners and large scale miners pay 6.3% as export tax
He said plans are underway for the establishment of a diamond cutting and polishing centre in the country.
Andrew Kellie said the roles of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals and the National Minerals Agency has an overlapping mandate and the continued negotiations of special agreements between the government and individual mining companies.
He said there seems to be inconsistencies and duplication of functions between the ministry and the agency.
He also highlighted some considerable challenges in the implementation of laws and regulations which he said are fraught with difficulty because of institutional capacity limitations.
Yves Ilunga Chief Finance Officer Sierra Rutile also spoke about the fundamentals of financing for mining projects, state of the markets and the perception of country risk.
David Carew Chief Executive Officer of Freetown Nominees Sierra Leone limited spoke about annual reports of mining companies by providing a comprehensive account of their business strategy and performance.
He said most of the mining companies are privately owned so they cannot disclose their financial statements.
The Chairman of the Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Dr. Mustapha Thomas spoke about how Sierra Leone achieved EITI Compliance in April this year and their challenges in moving forward.
He said Petroleum directorate pays more revenues to government than large-scale mining companies.
Friday June 27, 2014