National Minerals Agency

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The National Minerals Agency (NMA) is a semi-autonomous government agency that was established with the passage of the NMA Act in March 2012.[1] The NMA implements mining policies as devised by the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources.[2]

Functions

The primary function of the NMA, as set out in the NMA Act of 2012, is "to promote the development of the mineral sector by effectively and efficiently managing the administration and regulation of mineral rights and minerals trading in Sierra Leone" and "to provide technical and other support to the mineral sector including geological survey and data collection activities."[3]

More specificially, the NMA was designed to attract highly qualified industry professionals to the administration of the minerals sector and has the following responsibilities:[4]

The NMA also took over the functions and responsibilities of the former Government Gold and Diamond Office (GGDO)[5] which are as follows:[6]: to buy gold and diamond at competitive prices; to examine, assort, value, parcel, market and export gold and diamond; to collection levies on diamond and gold exports; to put the marketing of gold and diamond on an organized and sound basis, thereby increasing the free flow of foreign currency through the local banking system; to institute more effective measures in the marketing of gold and diamond by ensuring that valuation is done with the highest standard of efficient, professional competence and integrity; to provide a strong credible basis for government to raise external loans using its stock of gold and diamond if necessary.

Organisation

As of February 2013, the agency has four departments: the Mines Department, the Geological Survey Department, the Precious Minerals Trading Department and the Finance Department. [7] Each department is headed by a director which is appointed by the Board of Directors. [8]

According to the NMA Act, the main function of the Bord of Directors is to oversee the efficient operating of the Agency.[9] More specificially its responsibilities are to approve the operational budget of the Agency, to establish the strategic direction of the Agency and to set its performance targets.[10]

The Board itself is headed by a chairman and includes additionally the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, the Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, the Director-General of the Agency (as secretary and non-voting member) and four persons with professional knowledge and experience in law, accounting and finance mining or geology, and human resource management. [11]

The Director-General of the Agency in turn is responsible to the Board for:[12]

  • overseeing the activities of the Departments and the day-to-day administration and management of the Agency
  • the formulation and implementation of operational policies, programmes and plans relating to the functions of the Agency
  • supervising employees of the Agency * preparing and submitting operational reports and plans
  • preparing the annual budget and the timely submission of financial reports
  • preparing the agenda of Board meetings and recording and maintaining minutes thereof

As of March 2013, also the Mining Cadastre Office, previously part of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, moved to the National Mineral Agency.[13]

Current office holders

As of June 2013, the current office holders are:[14]

Director General: Sahr Wonday

Deputy Director General: Matthew Tarawali

Director of Mines: Peter Bangura

Director of the Geological Survey Department: Arnold Mason

Deputy Director of the Geological Survey Department: Prince Cuffey

Director of Precious Minerals Trading: Jinnah Ibrahim

Director of Finance and Administration: John Fornah

The Mining Cadastre Office

As of March 2013, the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) is part of the National Mineral Agency.[15] The MCO was established under the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 which foresees it as a focal point for all applicants for licenses and licence holders.[16] Accordingly, all applications and requests regarding a mining licence including documents required to maintain and manage a licence have to be addressed to the MCO. The MCO also coordinates the validation of GPS data and availability of plots with the Geological Survey Division as well as all required payments with the National Revenue Authority.[17]

The MCO was set up together with a Minerals Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) which collects, organizes, maintains and delivers data on mineral resources.[18] The data of the MCAS is also available online and allows authorized users to access information on the status, location and ownership of mining licenses, as well as some data on company payments.[19] [20]

Suggestions for review of organisation and functions

According to a World Bank paper by Fanthorpe and Gabelle the mandate and function of the NMA and the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources overlap considerably.[21] The paper states that "with the exception of the assessment of licence applications, the statutory functions of the two agencies are more or less identical."[22]

External links

National Minerals Agency Act, 2012

Online Repository of the Government of Sierra Leone

References

  1. About the National Minerals Agency”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  2. About the National Minerals Agency”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  3. National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2014.
  4. Political Economy of Extractives: Governance in Sierra Leone”. Fanthorpe, R. and Gabelle C., 2 July 2013.
  5. Political Economy of Extractives: Governance in Sierra Leone”. Fanthorpe, R. and Gabelle C., 2 July 2013.
  6. Welcome To The Official Website Of The Government Gold & Diamond Office, Sierra Leone”. Government Gold and Diamond Office, retrieved 24 October 2013.
  7. In Sierra Leone, National Minerals Agency Commences Operation”. Awareness Times: Sierra Leone News & Information, 6 February 2013.
  8. http://www.sierralii.org/sl/legislation/act/2012/3 National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2013.
  9. National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2013.
  10. http://www.sierralii.org/sl/legislation/act/2012/3 National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2013.
  11. http://www.sierralii.org/sl/legislation/act/2012/3 National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2013.
  12. http://www.sierralii.org/sl/legislation/act/2012/3 National Minerals Agency Act, 2012”. Sierra L II, 26 April 2013.
  13. Overview, Structure and Objectives”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 24 October 2013.
  14. A Minerals Renaissance". Mining-Journal, June 2013.
  15. Overview, Structure and Objectives”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 24 October 2013.
  16. The Mining Cadastre Office”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  17. Overview, Structure and Objectives”. Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  18. Collecting, Organizing and Delivering Information on the Extractive Sector”. Natural Resource Charter, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  19. "Moxi: GoSL Online Repository”. Goxi, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  20. Sierra Leone”. Revenue Watch Institute, retrieved 23 October 2013.
  21. Political Economy of Extractives: Governance in Sierra Leone”. Fanthorpe, R. and Gabelle C., 2 July 2013.
  22. Political Economy of Extractives: Governance in Sierra Leone”. Fanthorpe, R. and Gabelle C., 2 July 2013.