By Joshua Sahr Pettiquoi
Koidu Limited Mining Company operating in Tankoro Chiefdom south of Kono District Capital Koidu agrees that the video which has been in circulation on the social media indicating the looks of its underground mining operation was believed to have been taken at Dyke Zone B of the underground mining area.
It however denies rumors purported on social media that the underground mining has reached places like Opera and Gbense Market in Koidu City which was scary to the public that mentioned that the city could be sitting on a time bomb.
The company says the commentaries on the said video are not true.
It ascertained that, K One Dyke of the underground mining covers five hundred (500) meters distance comprising six (06) levels. while Dyke Zone B covers two hundred (200) Meters distance that comprised of twelve (12) levels.
Head of Technical Services who doubles as Acting General Manger Koidu Limited Mining Company Miles Van eeden told the stakeholders that, the information on social media that has been linked to the video was not true.
According to him; the company still operates within its four point nine square kilometers concession.
He said during his presentation on the operations of the mines that, the abides by all statutory obligations as required by law and operates in line with all environmental best standards and the Environmental and Social Impacts Assessments (ESIA) which were carried out by Debby Wealth and CEMATS.
“Koidu Limited Mining leased agreement with government spans up to 2030” he added. No clear explanation was made around what the company has put in place for safety insurance for its employees working at the underground mining site, but says its safety measures are guaranteed.
The Acting General Manger Koidu Limited Mining Company Miles Van eeden has also assured that, the Company will work to the principles of zero harm to the workers, the people and the environment in all processes.
Sierra Leone’s Mining Regulatory Body, the National Minerals Agency (NMA) has also confirmed that the Koidu Limited under-ground mining operations in Kono District have not exceeded its four point nine square kilometers concession.
This was disclosed during a briefing at the Company’s site after a fact finding mission that was held at the company’s underground mining dykes led by the NMA together with the Civil Society representatives, some key stakeholders of Kono and a cross section of journalists.
The Communications and Community Affairs Manager National Minerals Agency (NMA) Ibrahim Satty Kamara says, the visit was held to help lead the key district stakeholders themselves together with the journalists to get an on the spot findings that could aid ascertain the realities around the underground mining operations.
He said that it was part of his statutory functions to provide the people of Kono and Sierra Leone by extension with the required information that could lead to public confidence and sanity.
He said even though the video was taken in the mines, they were concerned about the commentaries on the video in question which were all misinformation and disinformation that is misleading to the public. “We can’t afford to close down the operations of Koidu Limited Mining Company which has employed over one thousand employees mostly Kono indigenes,” Ibrahim Satty Kamara noted.
He said that the NMA being the mining regulatory body, they would ensure to doing their utmost best towards ensuring that the company works by all legal regulations, while imploring on citizens to desist from the act of circulating wrong and misleading information.
CSO’s recommended that the company bridge the information cap going forward which they say would help to instill confidence in the minds of the people of Kono and the country in general regarding the operations of the company particularly when it comes to the underground mining.
They also implored on the company to work around safety and insurance for the workers at the underground mining.