Director-General of NMA, Julius Daniel Mattai
The awarding of the Baomahun concession, Sierra Leone’s most promising gold deposit, to FG Gold Mining Company has surprised the country’s business community and caused a rift between parliament and the executive arms of government.
The House of Parliament has questioned the National Minerals Agency (NMA)’s Issuance of the license for large-scale gold mining at Baomahun which is located in Valunia Chiefdom, Bo District, as the Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, Saa Emerson Lamina, recommended that the Government investigate the matter.
According to Hon. Lamina, FG Gold Mining Company is said to have been awarded the license to the disadvantage of ALGOM Resources Company and others, due to alleged unfair treatment. Lamina said all investors deserve equal opportunity and treatment in applying for a mining concession.
He was speaking while presenting the third session of the Mines and Mineral Resources Committee Report to the House. The Leader of the opposition Coalition for Change (C4C) party in Parliament reiterated that ALGOM Resources Company was unfairly treated and therefore maintained that there should be equal opportunities to players in the mining sector.
The Executive Director of Accountability Now Sierra Leone, William Sao-Lamin, also questioned how the NMA awarded the mining concession to FG Gold Mining Company, which only got its Corporate Affairs Commission Certificate in January 2021, long before ALGOM had had their certificate – in 2019.
Mr Sao-Lamin, in a press release, stated that ALGOM Resources Company had operated with its Exploration License since 2019 in the Valunia Chiefdom, arguing that the situation required critical analysis of the legitimacy, credibility, resources and finances available for consideration for such a large-scale gold deposit that stands to benefit the country in compliance with tax regulations and huge employment opportunities for the citizens.
Lamin said that Accountability Now Sierra Leone and its CSO Partners have been overwhelmed with complaints of alleged shady issuance of licenses to mining companies in the country, which he said has become a major cause for concern for their organizations.
The NMA declined to comment on the issue when contacted by The Gleaner.