Sierra Leone: Parliament ratifies Kingho mining agreement
Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 22/06/2022 debated and ratified the mining lease agreement for the development of Sierra Leone.
The following agreement was ratified by Parliament:
Mining Lease Agreement (MLA) between the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) and Kingho Mining Company (SL) Limited.
Presenting the agreement before ratification, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba said the Government of Sierra Leone joined an agreement with the company in 2020. He recalled the viable mining activities in the company host community by past companies. He said in 2020, Kingho had vested the opportunity to operate in Tonkolili and underscored that, in January this year, President Bio constituted a negotiation committee, which precipitated the agreement for the interest of the state.
This agreement, the minister insisted, would serve the interest of the people and went on to say that, the company is mining the lowest grade. According to him, the agreement would address the many challenges surrounding Tonkolili iron ore. He spoke about the company’s compliance on Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) Fund and other related matters, which are also contained in the agreement. He assured Parliament that, the agreement would serve the intended purposes for the good and development of Sierra Leone.
In his submission to the debate, the Leader of C4C, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, who also doubles as the Chairman Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources in Parliament said the agreement is in the interest of Sierra Leone, adding that, the success of the minister cannot be underestimated, citing indicators.
He recalled successes, relating to mining activities by the minister, in light of the payment of one percent for CDAP by the company to host community. Comparatively, the chairman recalled the bad mining activities in the past and informed that, the current system had improved on that sector. He went on to heap lot of praises on the Minister, in light of good laws, due diligence amongst others.
The Leader went on to commend the minister for bringing such a mining agreement and called on colleague MPs to ratify the agreement.
Hon. Dr. Mack-Mahmoud Kalokoh urged the minister to clarify certain areas in the agreement, relative to payment of National Social Security, cutting of trees and detailed shipment of the minerals.
On his part, Hon. Edward George thanked the Minister for ratifying a good mining agreements, referencing his home district of Moyamba as one of the beneficiaries and used the opportunity to thank the minister for creating a clause that protects the employment of locals. He recalled bad memories, when mining companies were employing foreigners in positions, where locals were competent as well. He appealed to the Minister to ensure the protection of compatriots.
Hon. Alex Rogers, while speaking on the basis of experience said the agreement is not controversial.
He spoke about environmental mitigation, in light of compliance and the contract renewal as well as free prior consent.
Hon. Sorieba Turay described the agreement as a “very fine document”, and went on to commend the Minister and Chairman of the Mines Committee. He commended the company for its Corporate Social Responsibility, job creation, and the plan by the company to construct an iron ore melting plant in the country.
Rounding up the debate, Acting Leader of Opposition, Hon. Hassan Sesay recalled that, they should have ratified the agreement long ago and informed that, they want to approve a mining agreement, that would benefit the people and government of Sierra Leone. He said the document is not bad as it relates to the development aspiration of the country.
Concluding the debate, the Acting Leader of Government Business Hon. Bashiru Silikie advised the minister to follow up on the implementation of the agreement and asked the Mines and Mineral Committee to do robust oversight.
Responding to concerns raised by MPs, the Minister responded positively and assured them of better considerations.
Parliamentary and Public Relations Department
Parliament of Sierra Leone