According to a news report, over twenty local miners were arrested on Friday, December 22nd, 2023 in the afternoon hours around the operational areas of the Leone Rock Metal Group in Tonkolili District, Northern Sierra Leone1.
The miners arrested are all from the relocated communities of Ferengbeia, Wondugu, and Foria. They were reportedly relocated to the new settlement with no provision of some basic facilities like water and lands to do their agricultural activities. To fend for themselves, the villagers reportedly went to the mining sites to engage in small scale mining1.
The Leone Rock Metal Group Community Affairs Manager, Robert Salia Kamara, confirmed the arrest to be true, but he said the action was meant to protect the local miners. He added that the arrest was done by the Sierra Leone Police and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces. The arrest, Salia said, was in the best interest of the locals as the company is blasting around the concession areas adding that they have engaged members of the affected communities to stay away from the area for their safety. In recent times, he said they learnt that the local miners are still going to the prohibited areas to do mining. “The company would be held responsible should there be any danger to