01 Feb 2012

Government Database Increases Transparency on Mining in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s government has launched an online database to increase transparency in the natural resource sector. The online repository includes information on revenue and transfers related to mining activities and on mining companies licenses. The initiative is supported by international donors and is part of the government’s efforts to comply to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Due to a history of unregulated mining operations and the poor state of older records, the database includes only data collected from 2010 onwards. Despite this move towards more transparency, however, concerns about full disclosure on mining deals remain. Abu Brima, country director of the Network Movement for Justice and Development, raises questions about the ultimate reliability of the information uploaded on the database.

Another point of concern relates to the fact that Sierra Leone still lacks a Freedom of Information law guaranteeing access to original government records. This step is still needed to ensure that citizens will have access to all relevant information related to the mining sector.

Read the full article “Sierra Leone launches online mining database to increase transparency” on guardian.co.uk. The picture above is also featured in the article and is credited to David Levene.