HomeDiamonds & GemstonesIllegal mining flourishes in Liberia

Illegal mining flourishes in Liberia

Panning for diamonds
– part of growing
illegal mining in
Monrovia, Liberia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 April 2009 – The government of Liberia has admitted that it is unable to stop the illegal mining of gold and diamond deposits in the country because of a lack of resources, thereby denying the state millions of dollars in revenue.

“The agency responsible for policing the deposits cannot move into the mining regions because it doesn’t have enough vehicles,” agency spokesman, Stephen Gbana told Bloomberg News.

“We rely on public transport to move into mining zones, but most of those illegal miners have their own vehicles, and we cannot go after them using public transport,” Gbana explained in an interview. “The government of Liberia is losing about US$25 million (R230 million) a year because of the illegal mines,” he added.

No-one at the Liberian Mines Ministry was available for comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Liberia – which is trying to rebuild its economy after a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003 – may have as many as 20 000 illegal gold miners operating in the Sapo National Park, Environmental Protection Agency chief Ben Donnie revealed earlier in the year.