Marampa Mining Company in trouble …disrespect for Local Content

Craig Dean, Executive Chairman and CEO, Gerald Group
Marampa Mines site 

The Marampa Mining Company is currently under intense pressure from indigenes of Lunsar Town in the Marampa Chiefdom, who have been deprived of not only benefiting from a company that is operating in their community but also a complete show of disregard for the country’s Local Content Policy. Star Alliance Brokers and Business Consultants is an indigene of Marampa Chiefdom and a former Commissioner of Insurance of Sierra Leone that has been in the Insurance Business for forty years and fifteen of those as Commissioner of Insurance of Sierra Leone. His office had the mandate of supervising, regulating, administrating all the business of insurance in Sierra Leone and also Principal Adviser to the government of Sierra Leone for fifteen years in all matters of insurance both locally and internationally. 

With his wealth of experience in the insurance business and an indigene of Marampa Chiefdom, Augustus A. Kanu thought it wise that he should apply to top serve a company that is operating within his locality. Unfortunately, the Marampa Mining Company turned down his application twice without any reason forwarded and decided to award the contract to a foreign company with the sole aim of depriving indigenous companies that have the capacity and expertise like the hired foreign company. 

A letter dated 9th November 2021 addressed to the company’s Managing Director through the Director of Community Development stated “I regret to inform you that my company, Star Alliance Insurance Brokers and Business Consultants first applied when your company was fully in operation but no response whatsoever from your company. I also submitted a second application to your community Director immediately you resumed operations and understand the renewal of the insurance business of your company Marampa Mines Limited is due in December 2021.”     

It could be recalled that Sierra Leone's Ministry of Mines & Mineral Resources awarded a large-scale mining license to Marampa Mines Ltd (MML) on Thursday, December 16, after the mine operator paid half of a $20 million binding settlement agreed with the government in May.

The large-scale mining license gives MML - which is a subsidiary of the London-based Gerald Group - 25 years to operate at the site, in the Port Loko district in northern Sierra Leone, with the license renewable for another 15 years thereafter, company said.

The company is however at risk of facing a stiff penalty from the Sierra Leone Local Content Agency should it be found wanting of violating the Local Content laws of the country. Authorities at the Agency have already invited the mi8ning company as part of its investigation to find out the reason (s) for violating its regulations.   

Being an Act to establish the Sierra Leone Local Content Agency to provide for the development of Sierra Leone local content in a range of sectors of the economy such as industrial, mining, petroleum, etc. procurement of goods and services; public works, construction, and energy sectors; to promote the ownership and control of productive sectors in the economy by citizens of Sierra Leone, and to provide for other related matters 

The Mines Minister, Timothy Musa Kabba said at the signing of the Mining Lease Agreement that: “Under MML’s mining obligations, the Company will conduct operations to promote the growth of the economy, including integrating the mining operations with other sectors in the country and maximizing local content and the supply chain within Sierra Leone.” This has not been upheld by the company, a situation that is currently placing the government of Sierra Leone in an open shame, especially to those local companies that are expected to play an active role in boosting the economy. 

The Communications and Outreach Manager of the Sierra Leone Local Content Agency, Alpha Kougbaka, revealed that the Agency is very much aware of a complaint filed by Commissioner Augustus A. Kanu of the Star Alliance Insurance Brokers and Business Consultants against the Marampa Mining Company. “It is a clear violation of local content policy,” he said and added that the Director-General of the Agency is acting on it as according to him, Section 14 of the Local Content Act states that they should act on whatever complaints relating to local content violations.

“We have outlined action points as we have a pace in looking at such complaints. We are not going to take it easy, we are going to work on it as we have taken certain measures to see that we attend to that issue accordingly," Kougbaka said.

Investigations continue. See more next edition. 

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