Sierra Leone – Aim-listed diamond development company Stellar Diamonds has formally submitted its application for a large scale mining licence for the Tongo project to the National Minerals Agency (NMA) of Sierra Leone.
This application will be processed by the NMA and then forwarded to the Minerals Advisory Board (MAB) for consideration. The MAB, after its consideration, will then make its recommendation to the Minister of Mines for approval of the mining licence.
Stellar Diamonds has also submitted its final environmental, social and health impact assessment (ESHIA) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for consideration.
In order to complete the process with the EPA, public disclosure meetings will be held 2016 both in the project area and in Freetown, after which the ESIHA can be approved by the EPA and the required environmental licence issued.
“The submission of the Tongo mining licence application and ESHIA marks a key milestone in the development of the project as we make the transition from exploration to mining.
“Notably, as far as I am aware, this is the first large scale mining licence of any kind to be applied for since the onset of the Ebola crisis. As such this therefore also marks an important milestone for the country of Sierra Leone which needs to attract new private sector investment to contribute to its post-Ebola economic recovery,” says Stellar Diamonds chief executive Karl Smithson.