In an effort to revamp and clean up the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) sub-sector, to make it more responsive to national growth and development, the Minister of Mines and Energy has undertaken several measures to ensure transparency and greater efficiency within the Department of Mines.
As part of these measures, Minister Gesler E. Murray, has appointed Mr. Arthur C. Gotolo as Director of Mines, while his predecessor Mr. Samuel T. K. Wilson has been transferred to central administration for re-assignment as per Civil Service regulations.
Minister Murray, in 2019, transferred the Inspectorate Division from the Department of Mines to the Office of the Minister to separate the respective roles of the Inspectorate Division and the Department of Mines. Minister Murray noted: “The simple logic is that one cannot be a player and a referee at the same time.” The Department of Mines is responsible for the issuance of mining licenses, while the Inspectorate Division ensures compliance of these licenses in consonance with the mineral and mining laws of Liberia.
The Ministry informs the public that in furtherance of the institutional reforms, the large number of volunteer inspectors that were inherited from previous administrations were relieved of their assignments in the various mining districts across the Country.
Additionally, only volunteer inspectors with good track records will be recommended for employment to the Civil Service Agency (CSA). At the same time, a similar measure will be rolled out to remove volunteer mining agents from the system. The Ministry assures the public that this administration remains robust in clamping down on dredge mining and other illegal activities within the artisanal and small-scale mining sub-sector. These measures are aligned with the Government’s overarching objective to enhance revenue collection from the mining sector.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is also pleased to inform the public that it is continuing the training in smart mining techniques to improve the capacity of local miners to carry out their mining activities in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
In another development, the Ministry has completed the construction of additional 300 meters of revetments or seawalls at New Kru Town to prevent sea erosion. This brings to 1,325 meters of seawalls to further protect additional homes, schools and other structures within the vicinity.