Sierra Leone is rich in mineral resources. Diamonds, gold, bauxite, rutile and iron ore are known to exist in large quantities. Political stability has led to a revival of economic activity such as the rehabilitation of bauxite and rutile mining, which are set to benefit from planned tax incentives (CIA World Factbook). Several offshore oil discoveries were announced in 2009 and 2010. The development on these reserves, which could be significant, is still years away.
The rise of mineral prices up to 2011 led to strong interest by international mining companies in Sierra Leone, resulting in a surge of new mining licenses and exploration. Revenues from the oil, gas and mining sector are small at present: US $27m in 2011 up from US $7.5 in 2010, with oil and gas revenues outstripping mining for the first time.
The 2011 EITI Report shows that revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors are up by almost four times, but remain a small part of the economy.
The current Ebola outbreak is having an impact of mining operations and economic growth.
The Board declared Sierra Leone EITI compliant on 26 April 2014 having addressed the remedial actions identified through their second validation in their 2011 EITI Report, which was published on 27 December 2013. Read more about the 2011 EITI Report here.
In April 2014, the government published all re-negotiated contracts on the SLEITI web page, and all new ones are expected to go there in the course of 2014. In future, the online Minerals Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) will host all contracts and key license information such as fiscal terms and individual Community Development Agreements, as well as payments. The new version of MCAS has already included some information on beneficial ownership. In Sierra Leone, information on company ownership was already a requirement for industrial mining licenses and this information is now being digitised. There is considerable scope to integrate the EITI production and revenue data with the MCAS.
Second Validation report 2012 is available here.
The report includes a brief description of the legal framework, types of licenses and taxation applicable to the oil and gas, and mining sectors.
The report includes the license register number of each company, information about the commodity explored/produced and details on equity ownership. Some companies have also reported on production.
Planned use of EITI platform to include contract transparency (yet to be implemented).