According to the Director of Communication of Kwabena Resources Limited, Dr. Emmanuel Stafford, and also from conversation with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Douglas Chikohora, the company is poised to invest the sum of $250 million at the Baomahun gold mines if they are given mining licence to operate in the Baomahun community in the Valunia Chiefdom in the Bo district.
Dr. Stafford maintained that if they are successful in their bid for the licence, the company will build a smelting plant in Baomahun, where the raw gold material will be turned into gold bullions. This will make it the second gold mining company with such an initiative, which is in line with the desire of President Bio’s government’s development trajectory to ensure that Sierra Leone’s natural resources are processed in the country to add more value to its products, which will eventually benefit the country and residents in the respective communities.
He furthered that they will bring their experts from neighbouring Guinea to construct a smelting plant for the gold that they will be mining in the chiefdomand Baomahun will soon be like the other part of the country, where a Chinese company has established a gold smelting plant to give value to the raw material mined in the country, and has produced the first ever Gold Bullion in the country.
Speaking during the press conference held at the Campbell Street offices of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Dr. Emmanuel Stafford, Director of Communications of the mining company, they have had engagements with residents of Baomahun and the Paramount Chief of Valunia, and all of them are eager to have Kwabena Resources commence operations there. He noted that they had operated in that area and were only stopped when their licence was terminated by the past government. He noted that all their equipments are still on the site.
Dr. Stafford furthered that since their termination, the company that was given licence to operate, only had exploration licence. He expressed dismay that a company that was operating with a mining licence could be terminated and the concession given to another on exploration basis. That is like reversing from the progress made. He disclosed that he was not surprised when the people of Baomahun wrote the Parliament and all Stakeholders, complaining about the negligence of the exploration company that had been on their land for over 3 years without paying surface rent or any other financial obligations to the respective land owners and the chiefdom authorities. It is against this backdrop that they demanded for the termination of the licence of Algom and the reengagement of Kwabena.
He furthered that if they are given the licence to commence mining in the village, they are going to provide jobs for some 600 residents, adding that all those who were working with them during their time of operations will be reengaged and more workers engaged, thereby reducing the unemployment rate in the country.
Stafford noted that what is worthy of note is that if the company is successful in its bid for the mining licence, it is going to install a 15 megawatt solar plant that will not only supply the company’s electrical needs, but will serve the community. Adding that during the time of their operations in the Baomahun, they provided the village with street lights (solar) and these are still operational today. Passionate about the benefits that the company will bring to the village and by extension, the country, Dr Stafford said that the plans of the company are second to none in the mining industry, as residents will be benefiting from the company on an annual basis the sum of $4 million. He stressed that the company is determined to instil trust in the people and the government, and in this regard it is determined to pay upfront an amount of $4 million before even starting operations. This they will do when they are given the licence to operate. To be held in account for their promises, the company will sign a performance bond with the government where a huge deposit of money will be laid down and if in two years they are unable to fulfil their promises, they will forfeit same to the government.
The CEO had also told this writer that if they are successful, the government will be getting some 20 to 45 million dollars on an annual basis from their operations. As for the community, they will instroduce a community development fund where they will deposit $4 million annually for use by the community, an account that will be monitored by the chosen representatives of the community, their MP and other stakeholders, whilst the company will only be there as an observer.