LIBERIA: Minister Murray Braggs Of His Mining Inspectors’ Quest To Chase Out Illegal Miners

L/R: Inspector-General, Joshua Obediah Arku and the Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler E. Murray

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler E. Murray, says routine vigorous inspection of all mining operations across the country is the best way to combat illicit and illegal mining. According to Minister Murray, when his Ministry’s inspectors are not reaching out to mining claims on a regular basis, it gives rise to illegal operations and robs government of needed revenue required to carry out development projects.

The Mines and Energy Minister was speaking during the weekend when he received the field report of a major nationwide tour of mining operations in the southeast by the Inspector-General, Joshua Obediah Arku. Minister Murray thanked the Inspector-General and his team for the hard work and expressed warm impression about the detailed nature of the report. He called on others to emulate the excellent working discipline of the Inspectorate Division.

Mr. Arku’s inspection tour of the southeast lasted for a month and was characterized by meeting with county authorities, miners and Justice Ministry’s national joint security teams. During the interactive engagements, the Mines and Energy IG explained in detail, the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Mines and Energy in protecting the mineral resources of Liberia.

He made them to understand mining processes and procedures and how one can become a Miner and the responsibilities of the miner to locals at his/her mining locality, and as well as protecting the environment by refiling pits dug during the mining which is referred to as soil reclamation to make the spot usable again, sometimes for agricultural activities.

The Inspector-General and his team of inspectors crisscrossed several mining sites within mining regions ‘B’ ‘C’ and ‘D’, beginning with Region ‘D’. Counties in these regions are Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh, Rivergee and Maryland.

He shut down offices of illegal Brokers, brought to the full weight of the law, illicit and illegal miners and assured them that their mining claims will be under serious scrutiny by resident inspectors.

The IG destroyed several dredge mining machines, banned by government due to the pollution they are causing creeks and rivers. Dredge mining gives rise to the use of mercury which a dangerous substance that is insoluble.

It destroys generations over a lifetime period, causes women to give birth to deformed babies, makes men impotent. Miners apply the mercury which processing gravel to recover the mineral. The Mines Inspector-General has assured the public that his inspection exercise is routine and will be done with strictness.

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