Leone Rock Metal Group Pays over Le 1.3 Bn Surface Rent

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Leone Rock Metal Group has paid a total amount of over Le 1,300,000,000 (one billion three hundred million Leones) as surface rent to landowners  within its Iron Ore licenses in Tonkolili District, Northern Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The payment of the surface rents by the company is pursuant to the requirement for the granting of a Large-Scale Mining License and in relation to Leone Rock Metal Group’s obligation prescribed in Section 34(a) of the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 for surface rent.

During the payment, Paramount Chief Alimamy Bockarie Yallan Koroma of Dansogoia Chiefdom, re-echoed the voices of the landowners and Paramount Chiefs of all the concessions by saying that the payment of the surface rent shows that Leone Rock is sensitive to its obligations. He thanked the company and prayed that the relationship between the company and the people continue to bolster.

Responding to the payment, Honourable Rose Marie Bangura of Constituency 055 covering Simiria, Kafe and Dansogoia chiefdoms thanked the company for honouring its obligation. She called on the landowners to utilize the money properly and to also use the money for developmental projects that will further empower their communities. She said aside from the payment of the surface rent, the company has also undertaken CDAP projects in their respective communities with the aim of ameliorating the sufferings of the people.

Landowners as well as community stakeholders present praised Leone Rock Metal Group for being a compliant company. They thanked the company for its massive investment in their communities particularly in the areas of health, agriculture, education, recreation etc. They assured that the money paid will be used judiciously in pushing for further development in their localities.

Meanwhile, Director in the Office of the CEO of Leone Rock Metal Group, Salim Sillah during an earlier interview said the Integrated Iron Ore Project of the of the company has several stages which are keen on getting a smelting plant that will transform Sierra Leone iron ore industry from mining to production of steel.
Salim Sillah added that currently the company is on the process of designing and building an optimization plant that will be the first time in the history for the Tonkolili Mine and that the Iron Ore concentrate will leave the mine with a globally competitive grade of +62%.

Asked why the company did not start active mining despite acquiring the three licenses in 2013, Salim Sillah said that the prevailing circumstance at the time was not favourable to start active mining. He said the company spent over USD 60 Million on exploration alone but could not start mining because the infrastructure to transport iron ore from Tonkolili were not in place and that the owners of the then existing railway could not allow the company to use rail and port infrastructure for transport of its ore. The period also coincided with the Ebola outbreak coupled with the decline in global Iron Ore price during which majority of Iron Ore companies including London Mining, African Minerals either transferred their assets to other companies or shut down because they were struggling to keep up with operation cost vs the poor revenue from sales.

However, with the company now with right of the railway and port facilities, Salim Sillah said that plans are on to revamp the various mining concession areas.

Leone Rock Metal Group Company Limited is one of the largest resource investment companies in West Africa. The company has an integrated Iron Ore Mining-Railway-Port Handling and export group of companies.  It asset encompasses an open pit Iron Ore Mine and surface operations located in Ferengbeya,  and other chiefdoms in Tonkolili and a 192 KM Railway and an integrated train discharge, ore processing and ship loading Port located in Pepel, Northwest Sierra Leone.

Pee Cee & Sons join Govt. to Ease Food Scarcity

By Pastor Mohamed Sesay

Past Saturday, the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr Juldeh Jalloh together with the CEO of Pee Cee and Sons, Mr Mahesh Choithram Nandwani, in line with HE President Bio’s vision for government to work with the private sector to alleviate poverty from this country, went to Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom where Pee Cee and Sons is currently engaged in large scale farming.

Pee Cee and Sons which has been investing in this country for over 60 years, is working in line with the government to do large scale farming in the country so much so that there will be enough to go round and to even export abroad which in essence will create jobs for Sierra Leoneans.

The two personalities met at Soktharr and Makassa towns in the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Port Loko District north of Sierra Leone, where Pee Cee and Sons has acquired 510 acres of farmland to grow various types of cash crops.

According to the CEO and Proprietor of Pee Cee and Sons, Mr Mahesh Choithram Nandwani, the intended purpose is to make sure that crops grown are processed in this country which case will lead to the fall of certain commodities which are costing a lot to bring to this country.

Mr Nandwani told his audience during the showcasing of the project, that when things take off unexpected scenarios like the Ukrain/Russia war, will not affect the availability and the prices of commodities since they will be available in the country.

The Vice President Dr Juldeh Jalloh applauded the move of Pee Cee and Sons and promised that government will continue to work with the private sector to ensure that there is food sufficiency in the country for all.

President Bio in his manifesto has said that his government will always work with the private sector in the development of the country.

Pee Cee and Sons is currently employing over a thousand Sierra Leoneans in its various outlets scattered all over the country.

Gas pump attendant testifies in LAJ`s matter

By Feima Sesay

In his second appearance before Magistrate Sahr Keikura presiding over Pademba Road Court No. 1 in the on-going preliminary investigation into alleged robbery with violence Alhaji Amadu Bah alias LAJ has again been sent into remand.

The accused is facing four counts charges of robbery with violence and assault.

According to the police, the accused, Bah, alias LAJ, on Sunday 12th June 2022, at the LEONCO Filling Station with intent to rob, stole the sum of Le 4,200, 000 and assaulted a pomp attendant.

Led in evidence, by State Counsel, lawyer Yusuf Isaac Sesay, first prosecution witness, Ishmael Kamara, fuel pump attendants at LEONCO Filling Station, Water Street in Freetown recalled that on Sunday 12th June 2022, he was on duty at the above mentioned filling station at around 3pm he and his colleagues were at the station when we spotted a black Ford without a number plate.

Kamara said the car was driven into the Station and when the driver came down he asked why Francess was sitting down. He continued that the driver requested for Le 500,000 worth of petrol, but he was told to park the vehicle appropriately.

He added that argument ensued between a man named “Buju” and the pump attendant, by the name Francess.

“Bugu was curious to know why Francess was sitting idly, but Francess responded that she hadn’t any work to do at the time,” he explained.

The witness furthered that “Buju” referred to Francess as being lazy, but Francess maintained that she hadn’t anything to do.

He mentioned that a man named “Isho” remarked that “da timberland boots u go kill am o” He went on to say that Isho called on LAJ to come and speak the language that Francess hears.

“LAJ who sat at the driver’s seat came down the vehicle, lean on the vehicle. Buju started raining abuses on Francess, calling her a prostitute,” he said.

The witness said Isho said they will no longer pay for the fuel about 27 litres.

“Isho drove the vehicle in a short distance from the fuel pump. Before long, Buju and LAJ confronted Francess and reigned insults on her. Musa who was present cautioned the accused persons to stop insulting Francess. “LAJ scullered Musa and hit him on his face. Musa fell on the ground while he was being beaten by some other individuals from the vehicle,” he further explained.

Kamara also mentioned that during the fight, the station manager, Daniel Kary and certain Christiana took the bag from Musa. “Christiana took out her mobile phone trying to film when LAJ saw her and scullered her Francess handed her mobile phone and the sales bag to me.

“When I got hold of Francess phone and bag, LAJ rushed at me and got hold of my throat. I could not breathe and I hadn’t any option but to release the bag to LAJ who made away with it. The bag contained Le 4,200,000”, Kamara explained.

He also disclosed that LAJ and his allies threatened to put the station on fire before they left.

The witness said Musa had already gone to the Congo Cross Police Station where he made a report. A police van made a trace and they were eventually arrested.

He mentioned that the accused resisted police arrest, but was forcefully taken to the Ross Road Police Station. The witness said he made statement at the Congo Cross Police Station after he received an endorsed medical request form. The said medical request form was produced for identification in court.

He revealed that Buju later returned the phone and money for the 27 litres of fuel that was pumped into the fuel.

During cross-examination, lead defence counsel, lawyer Madieu Sesay put it to the witness that at no point in time he had been referred to as LA, but the witness said he had referred to himself as LA in one of his tracks.

Lawyer Sesay added that LAJ did not request for fuel, and the witness responded in the affirmative.

The witness also confirmed before the Court that the argument that ensued was between some other individuals but not LAJ. The witness also confirmed that part of their standard operating procedure, is that the customer is always right.

At this stage, lawyer Madieu Sesay and lawyer I. P. Mamie renewed their previous application for bail.

 He referred Magistrate Kekura to the provisions of Section 23(4) Act No. 6 of 1991 (presumption of innocence) and regulation 7(b) of the Bail Regulation of 2018 (health condition of the witness must be considered when considering bail).

He also refer to the case between the state vs Amadu Maka Jalloh miscellaneous application paragraph 19.

But the prosecution had put forward an affidavit in opposition to bail.

Magistrate Kekura revealed that he will only consider bail when he is previewed to the authorities which defense counsel have cited. He remanded LAJ and he adjourned the matter to the 28th June 2022.

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