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Friday, June 14, 2024

ILLICIT MINING IN LIBERIA IS CAUSING THE GOVERNMENT TO LOSE MILLIONS OF UNITED STATES DOLLARS

Date:

LIBERIA – The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has placed a moratorium on class C and B mining activities in Grand Kru County as a means of clamping down on illegal mining activities.

A statement, which was issued and signed by the Mines and Energy Minister, Gesler Murray with a carbon copy sent to the Justice Minister, F. Musah Dean, and Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., revealed that the move is to help ensure sanity in the environment and the county.

“Over the past few months, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has observed with grave concerns that mining activities that are currently being carried out by class C and B mining license holders, mining cooperatives operating under class C licenses are unlicensed local and foreign nationals have flooded the county and are using heavy earth equipment, dredges, and other untheorized Simi-mechanized mining equipment,” the ministry said.

These activities, the ministry said, continue to cause serious environmental problems to the landforms, water bodies, and rural communities within Grand Kru County.

It can be recalled that on January 22, 2020, the Ministry placed a moratorium on the use of heavy earth moving equipment in class C mining license areas, and in a press release of October 28, 2019, the MME also banned the use of dredges on all water bodies within our bodies for mining of gold and diamonds.

Despite this ban and moratorium, the ministry said Grand Kru County remains one of the hottest spots of illegal mining activities.

These illegal and unacceptable activities, according to the Ministry are not unique to the county but are widespread throughout the length and breadth of Liberia.

However, due to the severe impacts associated with these activities and to enable the Ministry to carry out a complete inventory of all mining activities in the county, the MME in close consultation with the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus, hereby, places a moratorium on all mining activities in Grand Kru County.

At the same time, in a communication dated October 18 on behalf of the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus, Deputy House Speaker, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, requested Mines and Energy Minister, Gesler W. Murray, to place a temporary moratorium on mining activities in the county until further investigation.

“I present my compliments and wish to inform you that at its recent sitting, the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus decided to request that you close down mining activities in Grand Kru County until wanton and illicit mining can be investigated, ” said Cllr. Koffa.

“To put mining activities into proper perspective, there is a need to have a complete inventory of both legal and illegal mining activities in the county. Such temporary moratorium will assist in doing just that,” he added.

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