From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Cluff Gold Pays Surface Rent to Locals at Baomahun
By Augustine Samba
Sep 28, 2010, 17:04

A gold mining company with exploration license in Sierra Leone Cluff Gold Mining Company has once again fulfilled their mandate as provided for in the revised Mines and Minerals Act 2010 by paying the sum of Le146, 524, 200 (One hundred and forty-six million five hundred and twenty-four thousand two hundred leones) to local authorities at Baomahun village in the Valunia Chiefdom, Bo District, Southern Sierra Leone.

This is the second surface rent paid to local authorities in that chiefdom for a period of three years to cover 2011 that will mark the expiration of the rent. Mines Ministry Officials, local government and chiefdom authorities present at the handing over ceremony commended Cluff Gold for fulfilling their corporate mandate of paying the required rent for their mining activities within that chiefdom.

Speaking at the ceremony last week at the Village Square where cheques were issued to the land holding families, traditional chiefs and local council authorities, the recently appointed Cluff Gold country manager Mr. Alusine Jalloh said that though the company has not yet commenced full scale gold mining or production, the company is with the commitment and determination to fulfill their obligation to the host community.  He also expressed the company readiness to always work with the people in the chiefdom to support and promote community development programs.

The country manager especially spoke of intervention in the area of roads as according to him during one of his visits to the chiefdom he observed that most of the roads were in terrible state needing urgent repairs. Cluff Gold is currently working on plans towards the rehabilitation of most of the damaged feeder roads in this chiefdom, he assured. In addition he disclosed that plans were on the way to undertake needs assessment survey in the community in close collaboration with the people so as to identify their priority needs. 

On behalf of government, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Political Affairs Abdul Ignosi Koroma expressed thanks and appreciation to Cluff Gold for their commitment in fulfilling their requirement according to the Mines and Minerals Act.  He used the occasion to properly explain what the Mines Act says about surface rents and their distribution methods to beneficiaries. The  Act indicates that land owners are entitled to 50% proceed,  the District Council 15%, the Paramount Chief 15%, Chiefdom Administration 10% and 10% for Constituency Development Fund, he told them.  He ended by encouraging the people to use the rent payment to turn around the chiefdom for economic growth and sustainable development.

In his brief comment, the Director of Mines Mr. Jonathan Sharka warned illegal miners to stop using mercury and other harmful chemicals in the Gold Mines because it poisons the water and the environment which may have future effects on the people.

The Provincial Secretary South George Banya who chaired the ceremony implored local authorities to judiciously utilize the funds for the development of the area, while urging them to support Cluff Gold for rapid development. This same plea and admonition were re-echoed by the Director of Local Government, AJP Lebbie and the Paramount Chief of Valunia Chiefdom PC James Vonjoe. Both of them commended Cluff Gold for promptly paying the surface rent and assured the company of their cordiality

After the distribution process, a conducted tour of Cluff Gold facilities was made by ministry officials and other stakeholders present.  

Cluff Gold is focused on the identification, acquisition, development and operation of gold deposits in West Africa that are amenable to open-pit mining and low cost production techniques. The group has assembled a portfolio of mineral interests at various stages of development in Cte dIvoire, Burkina Faso, Mali and Sierra Leone.

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