Combat Against Illicit Mining Re-enforced -As LME’s Official Restates Commitment
The Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), Emmanuel O. Sherman, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to combating illegal mining across Liberia to enable the nation to safeguard its resources and as well boost revenue generation in the mining sector.
Illicit mining, according to Sherman, undermines the economy of a nation
and give rise to illicit cash flow, a situation which, he said, is counterproductive to the growth and development of any nation.
Illegal mining in Liberia, according to reports, is on the increase in several counties with foreign nationals being in the vanguard of extracting mineral resources from the country.
Recently, former Sinoe County Development Superintendent Joseph N. Jah decried the rampant act of illicit mining in the county, saying that the activity is depriving the Government of Liberia its legitimate revenue.
Media reports also alluded to acts of illegal artisanal mining is several other counties in the southeastern region of the country being masterminded by foreigners, specifically West African nationals.
But Sherman, who spoke at the World Bank office in Monrovia Wednesday following the organization book launch, stated that the LME is currently negotiating with developmental partners to solicit support to aid the fight against illicit mining in the country.
He called on the government to provide more logistical support to the ministry to ensure that the regulatory arm responsible to fight illicit mining is fully equipped to perform its task.
The LME official pointed out that the entity is faced with a huge human resource capacity challenge, adding that “most of our mining agents are volunteers; we want to make sure that the people monitoring mining activities in the country are employed and getting regular benefits.”
Sherman is of the opinion that most of the illicit mining operations are supported by people in rural areas.
He noted: “People who live in the immediate communities in which those minerals are located are scheming with foreigners to exploit the resources.”
Meanwhile, Sherman has cautioned those involved in plundering the nation’s resources through acts of unlawful mining to desist as the ministry will not hesitate to bring perpetrators to justice.