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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Air Borne Survey is yet to be completed- - SAYS DIRECTOR OF GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

(SLENA, 23 May, 2019): The Air borne survey that was scheduled to commence in October 2018 did start operations on 30th January 2019. According to the Director of National Mineral Agency, Mr. Prince Cuffey, in an interview said this was due to World Bank bureaucratic process; because anything done here needs to be looked at for any objections, hence they were unable to complete the survey this season.

He continued that the survey is very important because it is very obvious that the more mining companies we have, the better the impact will be on the economy: there will be more jobs, more revenue, more taxes to government and other multiplying effect. Mining companies start from the exploration stage (which is the stage people do not know about).

For a company to become a mining company they must have explored what we locally call prospective. They need to look at and study to see if the mineral they want to mine is in economic quantity. What we have lacked so far in Sierra Leone is data, we do not have geological information, and we have serious gaps in terms of geological information so this is one big step towards correcting that. What we are doing now costs millions of dollars because basically it generates a very accurate geophysical information and data over the entire country. This is one big data set across the whole country. Once you have this data it makes it easier for exploration companies to explore for minerals deposit and findings which they did not have before. Before a company comes to Sierra Leone they will have to do this for themselves which means extra cost.
It makes Sierra Leone very difficult to invest in because no information is set. So what the government should normally provide, the companies are providing for themselves. Even as we speak there are big companies that are waiting for this data. We are doing this, and when it would have been completed, will be made available.
He continued by saying that they have five planes in effect which are not only flying to targeted areas but also the entire country. We want to survey the potential of the entire nation (a nationwide survey). It is divided into two phases. The first phase is data acquisition (when the planes flies, they acquire geophysical data) and that phase has not been completed yet. Once the data acquisition phase is complete, the next phase will kick which is the data processing and interpretation.
The survey is going to stop very soon because of the rain and continue again in mid-October 2019. The problem is the radiometric does not work well under rainy condition.
(GS – Freetown)