Amid illicit gold mining activities in Grand Kru County involving foreigners including Ghanaians, Ivorians and Chinese, as well as Liberians, the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus has called for a temporary moratorium on all mining activities in the county.
Grand Kru County’s mining sector should have had a significant role in the development of the county and contributed to government revenue and provided for infrastructure development, but the influx of illicit miners in the county is causing it to lose millions of dollars of mineral revenues.
In a communication dated October 18 on behalf of the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus, Deputy House Speaker, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, requested Mines and Energy Minister, Gesler W. Murray, to place a temporary moratorium on mining activities in the county until further investigation.
Fastest growing industry
“I present my compliments and wish to inform you that at its recent sitting, the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus reached a decision to request that you close down mining activities in Grand Kru County until wanton and illicit mining can bě investigated. In order to put mining activities into proper perspective, there is a need to have a complete inventory of both legal and illegal mining activities in the county. Such temporary moratorium will assist in doing just that,” said Deputy Speaker and Acting Caucus chair.
Since 2009, the mining sector has become the fastest growing industry in Liberia, with both small-scale mining companies, artisanal miners and multinational companies taking part in the gold rush. Bea Mountain and MNG Gold are two Turkish companies extracting huge amounts of gold in Bong and Grand Cape Mount Counties. However, as a result of illicit mining, Liberia has been losing money through gold smuggling into neighbouring countries.
Cllr. Koffa said the influx of “illegal miners” in the county has reached a higher height and needs to be changed. The Deputy Speaker and Acting Caucus Chair indicated that many of the foreigners invading the forest and the mining sector in his county are Ghanaians, Nigerians and Ivoirians.