From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, African Minerals Sign Mining Agreement with Gov’t
By Bampia Bundu & Dauda Koroma
Aug 10, 2010, 17:10

African Minerals Plc on Friday 6th August 2010 signed mining lease agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone. This new development was revealed to the press at the 5th Floor Conference Room of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Youyi Building in Freetown.

In his presentation the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources who also doubles as Political Affairs minister, Hon Alhaji Alpha Khanu said it was no easy task to sign such agreement with a mining company as according to him it involved a lot of negotiations and professionalism as people depend on such agreements for the development of their communities and the country as a whole. “God has provided for Sierra Leone a second chance with the discovery of Iron Ore which is not easily smuggled like diamonds and gold,” he informed.  He commended African Minerals for having tried their best in developing an iron ore resource centre at Ferengeya, where about 10.5 billion tons of iron ore have been discovered, putting Sierra Leone on the map as a country with one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world.  “We are pleased as a government to sign an agreement with AML, this time to move from exploration stage to full time mining activity in the country,” he noted, adding that it was a blessing for the country as we strand to benefit a lot.

Hon. Khanu went on to say that African Minerals have shown their readiness for the mining operations with state of the arts equipments on the way for the purpose; and that if well managed the project would accrue financial benefits Sierra Leone five times the country’s annual budget. “The agreement will last for 25 years, and can be reviewed after 15 years but has the life span of 65 years if all goes well,” he disclosed.

On behalf of the company, the Logistics Manager Mr. Musa Bangura announced that at present AML has employed about 2,500(two thousand five hundred) Sierra Leoneans, and that once they commence mining operations they project the figure to go up to 11,000. He commended the president and his government for their support in ensuring that his company signed the agreement.  He said they were in Sierra Leone to help create jobs for the youth for which he admonished those opportune to be employed by the company to make good use of the opportunity.  “We are here to do business as a team and to move the country forward” he concluded.

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