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Parliamentary Investigation into Mining Revenues of Marampa Chiefdom

Updated: Mar 27

On Sunday, March 24, 2024, members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources embarked on an oversight visit and investigation into the utilization of the 1% Community Development Fund (CDF) provided by Marampa Mines Limited (MML) and the Community Development Committee (CDC) of the primary host community of Marampa Chiefdom in the Port Loko District.

Marampa Mines Limited (MML), operating in the Port Loko District, undertakes exploration, development, and production of premium-grade iron ore concentrate from estimated resources of approximately 1.7 billion tonnes.

During a meeting held at the residence of Paramount Chief Koblo Queen 2, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, who also serves as Deputy Leader of Government Business 2, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, recalled the enactment of the Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2022 by the Parliament of Sierra Leone in 2022. This act aims to ensure that Sierra Leoneans benefit from the country's abundant mineral resources.

Hon. Lamina cited section 143.4 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act (MMDA, 2022) as the foundation for realizing the benefits of the country's minerals and correcting historic inequities between mining companies and primary host communities.

Emphasizing that the purpose of the visit was not to engage in a witch-hunt but rather to assess the utilization of the community development fund, Hon. Lamina encouraged the CDC members to make decisions based on voting, if necessary, for the development of the chiefdom.

Hon. Lamina described the previous 0.01% CDF, prior to the enactment of the new law, as "laughable" and encouraged the CDC members to prioritize the development of the chiefdom and vote on decisions when required.

Foday Kabia, Chairman of the Marampa Chiefdom Community Development Committee (CDC), welcomed the guests and acknowledged the positive impact of the introduction of the 1% CDF under President Maada Bio. He confirmed the receipt of a substantial sum of NLe 38 million CDF in 2023.

Mr. Kabia highlighted the various initiatives undertaken with the CDF, including enrolling over 500 ghetto youth into skills training centers, awarding scholarships to 210 university students, manufacturing 1,000 benches to be donated to schools in the chiefdom, providing financial support to community teachers, repairing the sole ambulance serving the area, constructing a clock tower, renovating the town hall, and installing a solar project benefiting 729 houses and 21 villages.

"We have implemented these projects following rigorous due diligence procedures," Mr. Kabia assured.

However, the CDC members expressed frustration over the control and micromanagement of the CDF by MML, which holds the funds in its bank account instead of the community. They emphasized the difficulties faced in utilizing the CDF for administrative operations, citing inadequate fuel supply and meager allowances to members, which hinder development efforts.

On behalf of MML, Sheik Umar Kamara, Community Relations and Development Director, reaffirmed the company's commitment to improving the lives of the people through the CDF.

"We want to see development in Marampa this time around, which is why we provided thirty-eight billion Leones," he stated.

Mr. Kamara acknowledged the environmental challenges associated with digging and dumping in mining areas but emphasized the company's commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with the host communities. He also acknowledged the existence of irregularities but assured that they are resolved amicably.

During the engagement, members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee raised various concerns and provided guidance to the CDC and MML.

Hon. Bintu Bockarie inquired about the withholding taxes paid by the CDC to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and advised that the Host and Holder should institute strict fiscal and administrative policies on the utilization of the CDF.

Hon. Emerson Lamina opposed the idea of delays and red tape in the use of CDFs, emphasizing that such practices can lead to frustration in mining communities.

Hon. Alhaji Sorieba Turay highlighted the need for a community development action plan (CDAP) to attract the Holder's assistance, for which MML has allocated $60,000.

Hon. Jawah Sesay emphasized the need for the CDC to utilize the CDF, as unutilized funds would be repatriated to the District's coffers. He stressed that MML should not dictate to the CDC how the CDF is utilized.

Hon. Musa Fofanah echoed this concern, emphasizing that the CDC must have control of the CDF to facilitate proactive community engagements and avoid disturbances. He also urged the Committee to summon mining companies to discuss their CDAPs and CSR interventions.

Following the engagement, the Committee resolved to invite the primary signatory of the agreement to appear before the Committee


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