By: Zacharia Jalloh
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications.
On Monday 24th May 2021, the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, launched the Geodata which was obtained from the 2019 Geophysical Survey that was undertaken by the Government of Sierra Leone with support from the World Bank.
At the weekly government press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications, on Thursday 27th May 2021 the Deputy Director-General of the National Minerals Agency (NMA), Dr. Kelvin Anderson, explained the importance of the Geodata.
He started off by expressing profound thanks and appreciation to President Bio for gracing the Geodata launch and exhibition. "His presence at the event demonstrated his unrelenting desire to see Sierra Leone grow," he said.
Dr Anderson furthered that one of the key Policy Action Point in Cluster 2.6 of the Sierra Leone Medium-Term National Development Plan (SLMNDP) is undertaking a countrywide airborne Geophysical survey with the government seeking to significantly increase revenue generated from the mines and minerals sector for the maximum benefit of Sierra Leoneans.
"A significant step in this direction is understanding the country's mineral potential, as this will lead to the discovery of new deposits and potential extension of known deposits," Dr. Anderson underscored.
He asserted that the Geodata forms a vital component of the country's strategy to encourage investment in the mines and minerals sector by positioning Sierra Leone as an exciting destination for investors.
He further stated that investors can quickly and confidently select prospective areas for mining licenses application at a significantly reduced cost.
"The nationwide airborne Geophysical survey outcome will assist in mapping and securing new resources for development, employment creation, economic growth, and accelerated transformation," the Deputy Director-General noted.
In order to complete quantitative, qualitative and partial mineral resource information, Dr Kelvin Anderson went on, NMA and the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources are soliciting funds with a view to undertaking comprehensive nationwide geochemical and geological surveys and a follow-up airborne electromagnetic survey to augment the outputs to strengthen geoscientific knowledge in the mines and minerals sector.
Sierra Leone has generated one of the best high-resolution countrywide Geophysical coverage in the world, according to Dr Anderson, adding that NMA has embarked on marketing the country to the global Mining Community.
He concluded by informing the public about NMA's Strategic Plan 2020-2025 which was also launched by President Bio along with the Geodata.
UK consultant, Tim Archer, Director of Reid Geophysics Limited-UK, underlined that the Geodata is a government property but will not be accessed free of cost by investors.
He stressed that in order to attract serious and credible investors; the Geodata will be available for a fee.
Tim encouraged Sierra Leoneans to be hopeful, saying this Geodata will propel the growth of the mines sector.
"The Geodata is also relevant to the infrastructure and agriculture sectors, among others, he said