Landowners of Sella Limba Chiefdom, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone have disclosed that they are satisfied with the current activities of AMR Gold and that the news peddled by some journalists is false and untrue.
This disclosure was made in Kamakwie Town during a conducted visit by some local journalists monitoring the activities of the mining companies operating in the country.
On behalf of the Landowners, the Chairman of the Landowners in Sella Limba Chiefdom-Chief Bunduka Conteh, who doubles as the Chief of Kathantha village disclosed that most of the disturbances in the Chiefdom were calculated attempt to deprive the community of the developmental plans designed by AMR Gold, adding that the perpetrators are not the true Landowners of the portion of land where AMR Gold is carrying out its exclusive exploration work.
He revealed: “I must confess that I was also against AMR Gold when the company started its exploration work in 2011. I was against them because other foreign nationals incited us against the company for their selfish desires.”
He said he later realized that the illegal miners were illicitly smuggling their minerals leaving the community more deprived and underdeveloped. According to him, even though AMR Gold is not mining, the company has provided livelihood support to both Sella Limba and Sanda Loko Chiefdoms. He maintained that the Chiefdom headquarters of Sella Limba (Kamakwie town) and its environs have started seen visible development from AMR Gold.
He further accused a group called MIACCO for inciting hired youth to perpetrate violence in the Chiefdom. According him, MIACCO is an unregistered group sponsored and financed by one Fintain Roche and his Israeli counterpart-Rafael Israeli. In order to curtail their illicit trade, he called on President Koroma to listen to their cries by allowing the company with full Mineral Right to operate.
He said, “We are in need of jobs for our children, we need development in our Chiefdom and therefore we cannot fold our hands to allow self-styled landowners to undermine development in the Chiefdom.”
He referred the journalists to the NMA Regional Office and the headquarters in Freetown to confirm MIACCO’s registration.
The Chairman of the Landowners appealed to President Koroma to ensure that security is provided for all legitimate companies operating in the country. He noted that it is only with robust security that organized and standard mining or exploration work will effectively take place. He said the problem affecting AMR Gold is the high presence of illegal miners who are undermining the work of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) despite the numerous appeals by the Agency to stop people from carrying out illegal artisanal activities without getting NMA’s approval.
He underscored that AMR Gold has built schools; constructed bridges; renovated the Kamakwie Court Barry; Kamakwie Police Station and has provided livelihood support to the vulnerable children and aged.
In spite of the aforesaid development, but with the presence of high security, Chief Conteh said, the problem in Sella Limba will be controlled and unhindered mining work that will benefit the community will be carried out.