Long and short term implications of mineral mining operations in Sierra Leone: A review

Moses Fayiah, Muloma Seibatu Fayiah

Article ID: 4452
Vol 7, Issue 1, 2024

VIEWS - 118 (Abstract) 76 (PDF)


Sierra Leone is among the few countries endowed with substantial mineral resources deposits in Africa. This review throws light on the long- and short-term positive impact of the mining sector in Sierra Leone. Over the past decade, the revenue derived from mineral mining has had little impact on the economic development of the country. According to history, extensive mineral mining operations is traced back to the early 1930s. Nonetheless, the inception of mineral extractions in Sierra Leone has been characterized by political instability, war, biodiversity loss, corruption, hardship among others. Based on available literature, mineral extraction in Sierra Leone has directly or indirectly impacted the 1), environment (ecosystem and biodiversity) 2), governance and leadership (stakeholder’s consultation) and 3) economic growth and development. The common negative impact are environmental pollution, degradation and social issues such as sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, early marriage, prostitutions, school dropout and spread of transmissible diseases among other issues. The source of data for this review was acquired from the secondary source. Information was source from both published and unpublished materials of interest. Key words such as mineral mining, mineral resources, mining benefits, mining policies, mining challenges were searched for important information on the subject matter. In some mining edge communities across Sierra Leone, protest and other human right abuses perpetrated by company’s authorities and security officials is common within these communities in Sierra Leone. On the other hand, mineral mining has served as a means of sustainable livelihood booster for deprived mining edge communities in Sierra Leone. Additionally, some mining edge communities in Serra Leone enjoy better economic conditions from the cooperate social responsibility (CSR) scheme of most mining companies. Alternately, mineral mining has also been a source of political tension and tradeoff between local resident and mining companies/governments. To remedy this situation, the government in recent years, has enacted many policies, legislations and regulations that supports the judicious extraction and management of minerals for the benefits of all in Sierra Leone. It is therefore recommended that, best international practices and standard operating procedures related to mining extraction be adopted and applied across all mining sites in Sierra Leone. This will help in mitigating the human right abuses trade-off between mining communities and mining companies for a better future.


Sierra Leone; mining; mineral; developing countries; communities; resources; operation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24294/nrcr.v7i1.4452


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