October 2, 2022

Reports trickling in from Lunsar, Northern Sierra Leone have indicated that officials of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) and the Sierra Leone Police have on 30th January,2020 illegally stormed the mines site of SL Mining in Lunsar without prior notice to SL Mining.
Our sources in Lunsar have reported that Local Unit Commander Lunsar Division, Chief Superintendent GM.Turay had stormed the SL Mining mine site at Lunsar requesting to meet with the Care Maintenance Team of SL Mining.
The LUC had notified the team that a team from the NMA was due at the SL Mining site on the day in question and that they should be allowed easy and unhindered access to the site.
The Local Unit Commander had also told the Head’s of Security and Community Relations for SL Mining in the persons of Mr. Greg Dunk and Professor Sheik Umar Kamara that the instructions were from the Attorney General and the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police.
Head of Community Relations, Professor Sheik Umar Kamara had questioned the purported visit of the NMA team noting that they are not averse to anyone visiting the mine site but that such visits should follow established procedures.
Professor Kamara has out rightly stated that SL Mining had not received any correspondence to the effect to notify them of the visit and hence they are constrained in allowing anybody on site who has no permission to do so from SL Mining.
Chief Superintendent GM Turay has also alluded that the visit by the NMA team had the authority of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
He quoted Sections 6.1 of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009 which states that “The Director of Mines has the power to enter any mining area to perform certain activities’’and that the team was there to collect samples from the site.
Reports have added that the LUC was determined to secure entry into the site even when the immediate authorities from the SL Mining site were concerned that they had no permission to do so.
Professor Kamara, Head of Community Relations had categorically stated that he would not stop them the Police and the NMA from entering but they should understand that whatever entry they will make would be tantamount to ‘’Forced Entry’’
It was confirmed later LUC Turay and a three vehicles convoy had bulldozed and entered the SL Mining Site and went straight to take samples of the stockpile plant.
The team which was purported to have come from NMA had Lebanese and Asian nationals together with the Director of Mines Peter Bangura,Nigel Thomas and one Arnold.
The SL Mining Care Maintenance team was prevented from taking pictures of the visiting team by the Police even though they refused and took pictures leasing to the arrest of the Head of Security for allegedly obstructing Police.
It was also reported that the Local Unit Commander, CSP Turay had a day after on the 1st January,2020 deployed additional security to the area with the intention of securing the Iron Ore concentrates at the Mine site.
The action to deploy additional security in the area was viewed as very intimidating to the SL Mining Care and Maintenance Team and was never at the request of SL Mining.
SL Mining and the Government of Sierra Leone are in three separate arbitrations in the US and the UK over what the SL Mining and Gerald Internationals the parent company had referred to as the illegal cancellation of their licenses by the new Government.
Many have referred to the government latest action to bulldoze the sites of SL Mining and deploy additional security at the site while the arbitrations are still going on in the UK and US as very much in contravention of international laws and a disrespect for the investors who have issues around the way and manner the government has cancelled their licenses.