MONROVIA-Mines and Energy Ministry’s Inspector-General, Joshua Obediah Zaza Arku, has issued a stern warning against illegal and illicit mining practices mainly by Class ‘C’ license holders in the western region of Liberia.
According to the zoning map of the Country’s mining sector, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Gbarpolu Counties constitute Region ‘F’, situated within the western region.
Inspector-General Arku intoned that the ongoing phase two of his nationwide inspection tour of mining sites in the western region will leave no stone unturned in scrupulously implementing the mineral and mining laws of the Country during his inspection operations.
The Mines Inspector-General said, as his team of inspectors crisscrosses mining Region ‘F’, all undocumented miners illegally extracting gold, diamond, and other minerals from the region will be brought to book for prosecution as provided for by law. IG Arku further indicated that a key part of his work in Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, and Bomi is to ascertain Miners’ compliance with safe mining techniques, a program under donor funding at the Ministry [Mines and Energy] which trains miners how to proceed with their mineral recovery work harmlessly.
Soil reclamation or backfilling of deeply dug mining pits is of serious consideration in safe mining practices which allows for re-use of land previously used for mineral recovery. This supports agricultural activities to boost livelihood or alternative income-generating activities in rural communities.
This inspection mission to the western region by the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Mines and Energy will provide the completion of a comprehensive report to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler Murray about situational analysis of Artisanal Small-scale Mining operations across the Country [Liberia].
The nationwide inspection tour of mining claims by the Inspector-General, Arku, is done routinely every year with the aim of enforcing revenue generation to enable the government to undertake national development programs.
Mr. Arku did not speak to the actual duration of his work in the western region but indicated that the task will be carried out in accordance with the timeline developed by the Inspectorate Division. Section 10.1 of the Mineral and Mining Laws of Liberia prohibits mining activities from taking place in protected areas including national parks, cemeteries, and traditional shrines, among others.
This means, the Hola Forest in Grand Cape Mount County, a National Park, will be under IG Arku’s inspection radar.