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As part of Mining Indaba 2021, His Excellency Julius Maada, President of Sierra Leone, provided a keynote address to demonstrate the “boundless” opportunities available in the Sierra Leone mining sector and welcomed investors looking to seize this chance
Opening the session, Maada said, “In spite of the massive impact of the global pandemic with which the world is still wrestling. Our presence here [Mining Indaba] demonstrates our unsubdued commitment to sharing experiences and new ideas; exploring opportunities, in spite of the global downturn; and fostering partnerships with all shareholders in the sector.”
The president outlined the policies that his government had implemented to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, such as short-term tax and relief packages, and the reforms taken to develop the mining sector in the long term, such as the expansion of infrastructure.
Maada continued, “The government understands that mining operations can only thrive with adequate infrastructure to support it. Thus, Sierra Leone is pursuing unprecedented infrastructure development projects to make life easier for its people and its investors. We are building and expanding bridges and road networks and continuing to improve on electricity and water supply and communication systems.”
“The opportunities for international investment are boundless. Our country is richly endowed with mineral resources, such as iron ore, gold, diamonds (four of the largest stones ever discovered were mined in Sierra Leone), bauxite, chromite, ilmenite and more. The presence of these deposits represents a major opportunity for potential investors and the country to derive optimal benefits from extracting, processing and exporting these minerals.
“Although export volumes and values for major minerals have dipped as a result of Covid-19, the current outlook for the mineral market is good. There is a number of large-scale mining companies that are on track to commence large scale mining operations in 2021 and the number of small-scale mining licences granted increased significantly, from 3 in 2018 to 24 by the end of 2020.”
Maada encouraged investors to seriously consider Sierra Leone for their next venture and seize the chance to share in the prosperity of its expanding mining sector. The president, concluded, “What we want is trustworthy, credible and patient investors. Investors who value fair and ethical business principles and practices. Investors who are interested in a sustainable long-term relationship with our country.”