January 17, 2007
Minister of Mineral Resources, Alhaji Mohamed Swaray-Deen told the Concord Times newspaper in an interview that government has decided to suspend further issuance of exploration and prospecting licences to potential and non performing companies.
Swaray-Deen explained that President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah recently reached an understanding with the government of the People's Republic of China to carry out exploration of all minerals in the country. "We will not issue out new licences for now. We will only renew exploration and prospecting licences to companies that have performed satisfactorily well.
Mining companies like Sierra Minerals and Koidu Holdings Ltd. will continue their work unhindered, Swaray-Deen said, adding that the Chinese were in the country and had already taken mineral samples for analysis."The next step will depend on the result of this analysis. Our aim is to create a data bank of all minerals in the country," he explained and reiterated that all companies that have performed satisfactorily well would be allowed to continue their work.