The Government of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the World Bank, has on Wednesday launched the second phase of a project to support the artisanal mining sector in the country, increase geological knowledge and help strengthen governance of the mineral sector.
The objective of the 20 million US dollars project is to continue to build on the improvements to mineral sector governance vis-à-vis strengthening the legal and regulatory frameworks and supporting the implementation of the recently updated Minerals Policy and Artisanal Mining Policy.
During the first phase (2009-2016), Sierra Leone laid the foundation for improved governance in the mining sector. It supported new legislation, institutions, capacity building and increased transparency. These attracted new investments to the sector allowing its revenues and associated activities to make significant contributions to the country’s economic growth.
Among the most notable achievements of the project was the support provided for the creation of the National Minerals Agency (NMA), the sector’s regulatory and survey institution.
Morie Manyeh, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, said the second phase of the Extractive Industries Technical Assistance Project (EITAP 2), aims to set out the policy principles by which the economic and social contribution of the artisanal mining sector will be effectively captured for the benefit of citizens of Sierra Leone.
The project will also promote cleaner gold production processes amongst artisanal and small-scale miners. It also seeks to further enhance geological knowledge, including building Sierra Leone’s geological infrastructure by supporting the government to conduct an airborne geophysical survey of the whole country as well as complete the coverage of geological maps of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is a resource-rich country with extensive known and potential mineral and petroleum resources. However, knowledge about the geology of the country is limited, with very little modern data in the public domain, and this limits opportunities for the sector’s contributions to economic growth and sustainable development.