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Saturday, July 20, 2024

TWO JAILED FOR ILLEGAL MINING IN GBARPOLU

Date:

By Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.

BOPOLU CITY, GBARPOLU – wo persons have been arrested and jailed for engaging in illegal mining. Timothy Suah and Jerry Sunwambe of the United Africa Mineral Corporation Limited were both imprisoned by the County’s Superintendent on June 3, 2024 following a site visit, at which time it was established that their mining company had been engaged in illegal gold mining activities in Henry Town, Bopolu District.

A review of the United Africa Mineral Corporation Limited’s documents by the Liberia Forest Media Watch confirmed that the company initiated mining activities on a mere application letter it filed on May 7, 2024 in order to obtain a prospecting license.

Superintendent Sam K. Zinnah said the imprisonment of the two company’s officials serves as a stern warning to individuals and companies engaging in illegal mining activities in Gbarpolu County. “This action will send them to court to compel them to pay for their wrong doing and legal repercussions of the illicit mining operations to safeguard the well-being of affected communities and ensure compliance with mining laws in the country.”, said Superintendent, Zinnah.

The action against the two alleged illegal miners comes three weeks after the Superintendent ordered the closure of another Mining Company for allegedly mining in the community forest and failure to present its mining documents. The enforcement action was taken in accordance with Chapter 6, Section 6.1 of the 2000 Minerals and Mining Law of Liberia, which prohibits individuals from conducting mining operations in Liberia without the requisite license.

Aside from the legal infringements, the unauthorized mining activities conducted by the United Africa Mineral Corporation Limited have resulted in water pollution, thus affecting the primary water source for surrounding communities within the mining area. Residents of Gebeleeta, Tawalata, and neighboring villages are unable to use the contaminated water for domestic use like bathing or washing clothes.

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A creek polluted by the company

If found guilty by the court, the United Africa Mineral Corporation Limited will pay a fine not exceeding $25,000.00SU.  Chapter 22, Section 22.1 B of the Minerals and Mining Law says individuals found guilty of such offenses may be subject to fines not exceeding $25,000.00 USD or its equivalent in Liberian Dollars.

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