Document Type: Case Study

Author

Department of Forestry, School of Natural Resources Management, Njala University, Njala, Sierra Leone

Abstract

Sierra Leone is blessed with abundant natural resources but yet prone to environmental degradation due to the mining operations. Most often, the mining communities are faced with social tensions, as a result of the possible trade-off between the expected employment impact and the cost of mining operations to the environment. Over the past decades, the contribution of the mining sector to the development of the country has been overshadowed by the fact that the mining operations have had adverse negative effects, mainly due to the country's weak environmental policies and the failure of the mine monitoring institutions, to supervise the operations of mining company operations. This article seeks to examine both the environmental and the social implication of mining operations on three mining edge communities in Sierra Leone. This paper also utilizes secondary data from the published articles, government’s reports, workshops and conference proceedings, policy documents of non-governmental organizations, newspapers, and the like to generate this writer's view on the topic under review. The thrust of the review will be on the following: Sierra Rutile Limited, Koidu Holdings Limited, and Shandong Iron Ore Mines. The above mining companies have been carefully selected due to the fact that they are located close to dwelling communities, and have been mining in Sierra Leone over a long period of time. The environmental performance index and the mining impact framework are used to clearly show the impact of mining operations on the environment in Sierra Leone. As a result of mining operations, deforestation is skyrocketing, public discomfort and air pollution has worsened, and social unrest has increased as a result of some unacceptable consequences including pollution of water source without recourse to short-term remedy. The literature reviewed by this writer reveals that the mining activities have two faces in Sierra Leone. One is that it serves as a resource curse. An example to this sad reality is the outbreak of civil war, social unrest among others. On the other hand, the mining sector is one of the principal backbones of the economy. It contributes to the livelihood of the country. This paper introduces three-way approaches of mining sector operation remedies that include but not limited to: 1) sound Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) adoption before mining operations starts; 2) carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA); 3) regular engagement with all stakeholders of mining-affected communities. This article recommends that restoration activities by mining companies go along with extraction and adequate compensation.

Keywords

[1]. Antoci, A., Russu, P. and Ticci, E. (2019). Mining and local economies: Dilemma between environmental protection and job opportunities. Sustainability (Switzerland). 11 (22): 1–21.

[2]. Nguyen, N., Boruff, B. and Tonts, M. (2018). Fool’s gold: Understanding social, economic and environmental impacts from gold mining in Quang Nam province, Vietnam. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10 (5): 6–8.

[3]. Carvalho, F.P. (2017). Mining industry and sustainable development: time for change. Food and Energy Security. 6 (2): 61–77

[4]. Maier, R.M., Díaz-Barriga, F., Field, J.A., Hopkins, J., Klein, B. and Poulton, M.M. (2014). Socially responsible mining: the relationship between mining and poverty, human health and the environment. Reviews on environmental health. 29 (1-2): 83–89.

[5]. Zulu, L. and Wilson, S. (2012). Whose minerals, whose development? Rhetoric and reality in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone. Dev. Change. 43 (5): 1103–1131.

[6]. Alix, Y. and Freehills, H.S. (2015). Mining in Sierra Leone: an Overview of the Current Legal. Framework, 20 May 2015 [Accessed June 2018.

[7]. Jarrett .H.R. (1956). Lunsar: A Study of an Iron Ore Mining Center in Sierra Leone, Economic Geography. 32 (2) 153-161.

[8]. Wilson, S.A. (2013). Diamond exploitation in Sierra Leone 1930 to 2010: a resource curse? December 2013, Geo Journal. 78 (6): 997–1012.

[9]. Sturman, K. (2015). Evidence synthesis of the impact of extractive industries on political settlements and conflict in East Africa; Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute the University of Queensland Brisbane, QLD, 4072 AUSTRALIA; Inception Report 27 February 2015.

[10]. Lubovich, K. and Suthers, E. (2007).Improving Environmental Security in Sierra Leone: The Importance of Land Reclamation. Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. (Retrieved July 2019) www.fess-global.org

[11]. F.A.O. (2013). Sierra Leone, (Bioenergy and Food Security Projects) BEFS Country Brief http:// www.fao.org/3/a-aq167e.pdf.

[12]. Amankwah, R. and Anim-Sackey, C. (2003). Strategies for sustainable development of the small-scale gold and diamond mining industry of Ghana. Resources Policy 29 (3-4): 131-138.

[13]. Mensah, A.K, Mahiri, I.O, Owusu, O, Mireku, O.D, Wireko, I. and Kissi, E.A (2015) “Environmental Impacts of Mining: A Study of Mining Communities in Ghana.” Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 3 (3): 81-94.

[14]. I.L.O. (2005). Safe work, Global estimates of fatal work related diseases and occupational accidents, World Bank Regions.

[15]. IFC. (2014). International Finance Cooperation. World Bank Group. A sustainable and responsible mining guide in Africa: A getting started guide: January 2014.

[16]. Wilson, S.A. (2015). Corporate social responsibility and power relations: Impediments to community development in post-war Sierra Leone diamond and rutile mining areas, The Extractive Industries and Society. 2 (4): 704-713.

[17]. Mutti, D., Yakovleva, N., Vazguez-Brust, D. and Di Marco, M.H. 2012. Corporate social responsibility in the mining industry: perspectives from stakeholder groups in Argentina. Resour. Policy. 37 (2): 212–222.

[18]. Coumans, C., (2011). Whose development? mining, local resistance, and development agendas. In: Sagebien, J., Lindsay, N.M. (Eds.), Governance Ecosystems: CSR in the Latin American Mining Sector. Palgrave Macmillan, London/New York, pp. 114–132.

[19]. World Bank. (2008). Sierra Leone Mining Sector Reform: A strategic environmental and social assessment. World Bank Sustainable Development Unit. Report No. 44655-SL July 10, 2008.

[20]. Heath, M.J., Merefield, J.R. and Paithankar, A.G. (1993). Environmental impact of mining in tropical forest. Mining Environmental Management, September 1993.

[21]. Blinker L. (2006). Country Environment Profile (CEP) Sierra Leone. GOSL and EU report. September 2006 Report.

 [22]. Brima, A.A. (2004). Environment, Development and Sustainable Peace: Finding Paths to Environmental Peacemaking Wilton Park Conference-London 16th–19th September 2004.

[23]. Fayiah. M, Otesile A.A and Mattia. S.B. (2018). Review of Challenges Confronting the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Policies and Regulations in Sierra Leone. Int. J. Adv. Res. 6 (6): 530-541.

[24]. Wendling, Z, Levy, M.A and Sherbinin, A. (2018). Global metrics for the environment: Ranking country performance on high-priority environmental issues; Technical Report January 2018, DOI: 10.13140/ RG.2.2.34995.12328

[25]. Chandra, K. (2009). Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Industry Sector in Asia Pacific: A Value Chain Approach, October, 2009 [Accessed June 2019].

[26]. Madeley, J. (1999). Big business, poor peoples: The impact of transnational corporations on the world's poor. London New York: Zed Books.

[27]. GOSL and UNDP. (2007). Government of Sierra Leone Ministry of Transport and Aviation report. Freetown Sierra Leone, pp 5-20.

[28]. Akiwumi F.A and Butler, D.R. (2008). Mining and environmental change in Sierra Leone, West Africa: A remote sensing and hydrogeomorphological study; August 2008; Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 142(1-3):309-318.

[29]. Lichte, R. (2014). Artisanal Diamond Mining In Sierra Leone: Social Impacts, Environmental Awareness And Opportunities For Change: Master’s Project Submitted In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirements For The Master Of Environmental Management Degree Nicholas School Of The Environment Duke University.

[30]. Wilson, S.A. (2015). Corporate social responsibility and power relations: Impediments to community development in post-war Sierra Leone diamond and rutile mining areas. Extractive Industries and Society. 2 (4): 704–713.

[31]. Le Billon, P. and Levin, E. (2009). Building peace with conflict diamonds? Merging security and development in Sierra Leone. Development and Change. 40 (4): 693–715.

[32]. Levin, E. and Turay, A.B. (2008). Artisanal diamond cooperatives in Sierra Leone: Success or Failure? http://www.ddiglobal.org/contentDocuments/Sierra_Leone_Cooperatives_Study_2008.pdf. [Accessed 5 Jan 2019].

[33]. Maconachie, R. (2009). Diamonds, governance and ‘local’ development in post-conflict Sierra Leone: Lessons for artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa? Resources Policy, 34, 71–79.

[34]. Wilson, S.A. (2012). Company-community conflicts over diamond resources in Kono District Sierra Leone. Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal. 26, (3) 254-269.

[35]. Alao, A. 1999. Diamonds are forever … but so also are controversies: Diamonds and the actors in Sierra Leone’s civil war. Civil Wars. 2 (3): 43–64.

[36]. Humphreys, M., Sachs, J.D. and Stiglitz, J.E. (2007). Escaping the resource curse. New York: Columbia University Press.

[37]. Auty, R.M. (2001). Resource abundance and economic development. London: Oxford University Press.

[38]. Sachs, J.D. and Warner, A.M. 2001. The curse of natural resources. European Economic Review, 45, 285–306.

[39]. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources. (2018). Mining Agreements [Accessed, November, 2019) https://slminerals.org/contracts/.

[40]. Sierra Rutile Ltd Iluka. (2017). Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) for the Sierra Rutile Sembehun Haul Road, Bridge and Transmission Line Project: Environmental, Social and Health Management Plan (ESHMP): CEMMATS Group Ltd, December 2017.

[41]. Environmental Justice Atlas (EJA). (2014). Koidu Diamong Mining conflicts Sierra Leone. (Accessed 23 May 2019].

[42]. Akiwumi, F.A. (2011). Transnational mining corporations and sustainable resource‐based livelihoods in Sierra Leone; Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 32:53–70.

[43]. World Bank, .1994. Sierra Leone Initial Assessment of environmental Problems, February 7th 1994 Report No: 11920 SL.

[44]. Gbenda T.S and Tucker, P.H. (2014). London Mining Destroying Sierra Leone’s Economy [Accessed June 2019] http://standardtimespress.org/?p=4381.

[45]. Akiwumi, F.A .2006. Environmental and Social Change In south Western Sierra Leone: Timber Extraction (1832-1898) And Rutile Mining (1967-2005), Dissertation Presented To The Graduate Council of Texas State University – San Marcos In Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements For The Degree Doctor Of Philosophy, Texas State Unversity, U.S.A.

[46]. Davis, J.P., Pratt, L.T.T. and Keili, A.K. 1994. The importance of metallurgy in mine planning at Sierra Rutile Ltd. Minerals Industry International, (Jan.): 22-32.

[47]. Abrahams, A. 2001. Dancing with the chameleon: Sierra Leone and the elusive quest for peace. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 19 (2): 205–228.

[48]. Mcleod, H.P. (2012). Sustainable Development and Iron Ore Production in Sierra Leone. In Economic Challenges and Policy Issues in Early Twenty-First-Century Sierra Leone, Ed. O.E.G. Johnson (International Growth Center; 2012).

[49]. FAO/FRA, (2005/2010) Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005 & 2010) and the State of the World's Forests (2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001) Available https://rainforests. mongabay.com/deforestation/2000/Sierra_Leone.htm

[50]. Jackson L.E, Strauss R.B, Firestone M.K and Bartolome J.W. 1990. Influence of tree canopies on grassland productivity and nitrogen dynamics in deciduous oak savanna. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environments 32 (1): 89-105.

[51]. This is Sierra Leone; Sierra Leone premier online news portal business news .2012. Sierra Leone Diamond town of Koidu lacks old lustre. Koidu Sierra Leone, May 27, 2012.

[52]. Koidu Holdings Limted page. (2018). Our Mine Through Time, [Accessed on November, 2019] available http://www.koiduholdings.com/operations-kkp-our-mine-through-time.php

[53]. Lord Consulting Engineers. (2006). Sierra Leone: Large Mineral Sands Mining Operation - New Dredge (Accessed, 30 May, 2019).

[54] Mining Journal .2018. Storied past, future potential for Sierra Rutile; World's largest natural rutile deposit supports long-term production plan. 20th September, 2018 [Accessed November, 2018].

[55]. Ford, N. 2016. Sierra Leone: Chinese steel firm to invest in $700m iron ore processing plant; African Business 12 December 2016 [Accessed 30 May 2018].

[56]. African Mining Brief. 2013 Tonkolili Mine Expansion Project, Sierra Leone; August, 27, 2013. [Accessed November, 2019] available at https://ambriefonline.com/tonkolili-mine-expansion-project-sierra-leone/

[57]. Diamond Industry Annual Review Sierra Leone (DIARSL, 2005). Koidu Holdings: The Rewards and Risks of Foreign Investment; The Diamonds and Human Security Project. ISBN: 1-894888-71-5. (Accessed 23 May 2018).

[58]. National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives [NACE]. (2009).Sierra Leone at the crossroads: Seizing the chance to benefit from mining. www.nacesl.org, Accessed September 3, 2018.

[59]. Koidu Holdings Limited. (2011). Sports. http://www.koiduholdings.com/sustainability-community-sports.php

[59]. Herbert Smith Freehills, L.L.P. (2015). Mining in Sierra Leone: an Overview of the Current Legal Framework, [Accessed 20 May 2019] available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/f101af0b-7452-43c3-a0c9598137bb2fa5.pdf

[60]. Steinweg, T and Römgens, I. (2015). African Minerals in Sierra Leone How a controversial iron ore company went bankrupt and what that means for local communities First editionApril 2015. ISBN: 978-94-6207-059-2. Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO) Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations.

[61]. Akabzaa, T. (2000). Boom and dislocation; the environmental and social impacts of mining in the Wassa west district of Ghana. TWN, Africa. [Accessed June 2018]. https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/ 33423645? q&versionId=41062909

[62]. Africanland Post. (2015). Violated villagers in Sierra Leone fight mining giant. December 7th, 2015. Accessed June, 2018 and available at: http://www.africlandpost.com/violated-villagers-sierra-leone-fight-mining-giant/

[63]. Ross, M.L. 2004. How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War? Evidence from Thirteen Cases; International Organization. 58 (1): 35-67.

[64]. Statistics Sierra Leone. (2015). Population and housing census summary of final results planning a better future. freetown sierra leone [Accessed December, 2018].

[65]. Nina, D. (2012). Violent strike halts work at Sierra Leone Koidu diamond mine.Accessed June, 2018.

[66]. Gurdian Newspaper. (2012). Mining company accused over deadly police crackdown in Sierra Leone, April 2012.

[67]. Kawamoto and Kazumi. 2012. Diamonds in war, diamonds for peace: Diamond sector management and kimberlite mining in Sierra Leone. (Accessed 1 August 2019).

[68]. Collier, P. (2007). The Bottom million: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing New York: Oxford University Press.

[69]. Maconachie, R. and Hilson, G. (2013). Editorial introduction: the extractive industries, community development and livelihood change in developing countries. Community Dev. J. 48 (3): 347–359.

[70]. Campbell, B. (2012). Corporate social responsibility and development in Africa: redefining the roles and responsibilities of public and private actors in the mining sector. Resour. Policy 37 (2): 138–143.

[71]. Hilson, G. (2006). Championing the Rhetoric Corporate social responsibility in Ghana’s Mining Sector. Greener Manage. Int. 53, 43–56.

[72]. Hilson, G. (2016). Artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture: Exploring their links in rural sub-Saharan Africa. IIED, London.

[73]. Maconachie, R. and Hilson, G. (2009): Artisanal Gold Mining: A New Frontier in Post-Conflict Journal Sierra Leone? Journal of development studies. 47 (4): 595-616.