As Gov’t Cries For Revenue Intake,Illegal Mining Rocks Liberia

The illegal mining of Liberia’s mineral sectors around the country has reportedly climbed to its highest peak, as both Liberians and foreign nationals have situated themselves mineral rich areas taken advantage of the absent of mining inspectors from the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy to counties covered by these illegal miners.

Report for Gbarpolu and Grand Bassa Counties speaks of a large scale of illegal mining of Gold, Diamonds and other valuable stones in the Country are taken place.

Reports also said many of the illegal miners including Liberians and foreigners have taken over the sectors disregarding laws that govern the operation of such.

This situation, according to reports is causing the Liberian Government to lost millions of United States Dollars in revenue intake from this sector due to the unscrupulous behaviors of these illegal miners.

Those who are violating the mining law in Liberia and are now using the country’s rich mineral sectors in their illegal mining deal are Liberians, Chinese, Russians and other foreigners.

These individuals have reportedly challenged the Liberian Government by engaging in these dubious business transactions in these counties by fearlessly carrying out illegal mining.

A resident of Gbarpolu County who spoke to our reporter said, “Diamonds, gold and other minerals have been extracted by these illegal miners without being monitored by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. The Liberian Government must do something about this in order to bring to an end of this illegal mining,” Sam Jallah, a resident of Belle district speaking to our reporter said.

In Grand Bassa County, specifically Compound Number Two, our Correspondent said huge numbers of individuals are doing illegal mining in that part of the Country without the presence of the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy.

Our Correspondent also disclosed that on a daily basis, high-up from the Government are always seen around these mining sites encouraging those who are involved in this illegal act to continue, adding, “Officers of the Liberia National Police are always there around these mining sites. It is not known as to whether they are involved in these illicit operations,” our Correspondent disclosed.

Our Correspondent in Belle District where huge illegal mining is taken place when asked as to whether these foreigners operating in the County have registered their companies with the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, he disclosed that many of them are operating with fake documents.

He further said some of them are operating with a class “B” license from the Ministry of Lands Mine and Energy and they have been operating for nearly two years.

He said according to the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy, the categories of license that the Ministry of Lands gives states that grade “A” or Class “A” license is for merchandise mining that deals with big companies. While Class “B” or Grade “B” License is Semi merchandise mining also using equipment, but it should include some level of participation by Liberians.

But these illegal miners just go ahead without the required documents; mining and taken away thousands of dollars worth of gold and diamond and other expensive deposits that should be reserved for the growth and development of Liberia are been illegally taken away.

"Illegal mining is a very big problem for us as a country. Some of the problems point to the Lands, Mines and Energy ministry but in totality, it is an inter-governmental problem," an official of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy in an exclusive interview with our staff said.

The Liberian Government over the years blamed foreigners for the wave of illicit operations, which it fears, threatens its development. But the answered question that flips the lips of many Liberians is who is responsible for such?

According to report, prior to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, Liberia had seen a steady rise in investment of over $17bn, most of which is generated through mining.

Liberians who spoke to our reporter in Monrovia also said this prevailing situation which has given rise to the increased wave of illegal mining is due to a result of weak policies governing mining operations as well as lack of security, which he said provided a way out for illegal foreign exploitation.

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