Sierra Mineral Holdings 1 Limited (Vimetco) has paid surface rent to landowners, Paramount Chiefs, Constituency development Fund and District councils in Moyamba, Bo and Bonthe Districts where the company operates. This payment is in accordance with the Mines and Mineral Act of Sierra Leone which stipulates that companies should pay 15% to the District Councils, 10% for Constituency Development Fund, 10% to Chiefdom Development Fund, 15% to the Paramount Chiefs and 50% Landowner.
General Manager of VIMETCO, Alex Ivanov, thanked landowners for their support to the Company during the challenging times. Mr. Ivanov informed the landowning families that last year was a difficult period for the company, but due to the support of the community, employees and shareholders, the company is back to operations this year.
The Chief Financial Officer of the company Abdul Bangura said this year, the Company paid LE 4.43 Billion Old Leones to landowners and other stakeholders in the communities where the company is operating. He said the District Councils were paid Le 665.1 Million Old Leones, Constituency Development Funds in the various districts were paid through the Members of Parliaments Le443.4 Million, Chiefdom Development Fund paid to the District Councils is Le443.4M, Paramount Chiefs paid Le665.1M and Land Owners were paid Le2.21 Billion Leones. (All payments indicated in old Leones)
The Permanent Sectary in the Ministry of mines and Mineral Resources Mr. Kinnie Lamin said Section 34A of the Mines and Minerals Act obligated the company to pay surface rent in percentages as described by the CFO of the company. He said this activity will improve Sierra Leone indicators carried out by Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (EITI) indicators. The Permanent Sectary said last year, Sierra Leone was rated 87.5% on its transparency in the mineral sector.
One of the beneficiaries, Amie Farmer thanked the Company for what she described as “timely payment of the rent”. She assured that she will use the money to settle her children’s school fees and other important domestics arrangements.