Project Case Study
Establishing a regulatory framework for artisanal mining in Sierra Leone
Supporting effective governance of artisanal mining
Artisanal mining in Sierra Leone plays a vital role in the extraction of the country’s mineral resources.
It is estimated that over 80% of Sierra Leone’s diamonds are extracted by artisanal miners and that the sector provided approximately 4.5% of GDP in 2007, providing livelihoods for approximately 150,000 individuals, nearly 3% of the total population.
In 2009, the government’s management of the industry was unpredictable, causing the country to lose huge amounts of revenue through loss of tax and smuggling. While the government did have a policy framework for artisanal mining, it was in effect limited to the granting of simple licenses.
Based on the development of a new act to govern the entire minerals sector, it was recognised that the artisanal sub-sector needed a full set of regulations to manage the activities of the various parties and protect the interests of the local miners.
The new regulations that our team developed for artisanal mining in Sierra Leone provided a comprehensive set of rules, guidelines and administrative tools for both miners and the government.
The overall objectives:
- To better protect the rights of workers and the environment
- Address the problems between miners and supporters
- Improve the government’s management of the industry
Through implementation of these new regulations, many problems directly affecting local people have been resolved, such as exploitation of workers, the supporter-miner relationship and miner-community relationships. Wider problems, such as environmental degradation and the government’s management strategy, have also been resolved.