Liberia: Mines and Energy Inspector General Embarks on ClassS ‘C’ Miners’ Licenses in Mining Areas

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SINOE COUNTY – The Inspector-General of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Obediah Joshua Arku, has embarked on a massive inspection exercise of all Class ‘C’ miners who fall in the Artisanal Small Scale (ASM) sub-sector of mining minerals in Liberia.

IG Arku’s inspection tour is taking place in the southeastern region of the Country, a region that seems to be a trouble spot in terms of small scale mining. Leading a strong team of mineral Inspectors, including administrator Prince Mambu, the Mines and Energy Inspector-General began his work on 9 November 2022. Sites were visited and inspected in Rivercess County.

As the work continues, the Mines and Energy Inspector-General and delegation are now crossing over to Sinoe County, and will reach out to all other southeastern counties including Grand Kru, Rivergee, Maryland and Grand Gedeh. Inspector-General Arku is basically checking on and authenticating the validity of licenses (Class ‘C’ & ‘B’). Class ‘C’ is set aside only for Librarians, but abuses have been observed in that license category, while Class ‘B’ license holders are semi-industrial miners allowed to use earth-moving equipment.

He is ensuring that all those involved with illegal and illicit activities at mining sites or claims are reported to the central administration of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, for prosecution by the Government of Liberia, as a means of weeding such unscrupulous individuals out of the system.

IG Arku, is responsible to enforce the moratorium placed on the use of dredges for mining purposes by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Gesler E. Murray. The Minister of Mines and Energy also placed a ban on the use of mercury, a dangerous insoluble substance small-scale miners illegally use on their dredges, apply same to the process of recovering gold, which they later spill into rivers on which they carry out their illicit mining, thus polluting the water bodies local community dwellers use for drinking water, preparation of food and laundry, etc.

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