What is the process for awarding mining rights in Sierra Leone? What steps must the company and the government follow?
This ‘map’ presents this process as a step-by-step guide. They sheds light on a process that is often complex and complicated, making it more transparent.
This process map focuses on diamonds. However, it is important to note that this same process is used for other natural resources like Bauxite, Iron ore and Rutile.
Diamonds are found in about a quarter of Sierra Leone in the south-east and east of the country, where diamond fields cover 7,700 square miles. The main production areas are concentrated around the drainage areas of rivers in the Kono, Kenema and Bo Districts. In the Kono, Kenema, Bo and Pujehun Districts there are 1,700 artisanal mining licenses in operation.
Diamond exports were worth over US$ 78 million in 2009, accounting for 59 per cent of the country’s exports. The drop in the value of diamonds on the world market meant that the value of diamond exports decreased by 20 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.
In 2009, the government recorded exports of 400,480 carats (80,096 g) of diamonds, this included 143,620 carats (28,724 g) of industrial diamonds and 256,860 (51,372 g) of gem diamonds.
A new mining law in 2009 resulted in an increase of over 7 per cent of diamond production compared to the previous year. The new legislation enabled fees and royalties to be collected more effectively, which enabled an increase in diamond mining.