KONO DISTRICT GLOBAL ORGANIZATION (KDGO)
3005 Valerian Lane
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
February 1 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KGDO to Support Koidu Mayor’s efforts to force OCTEA Mining to live up to its agreement
The Kono Global Organization and its affiliated groups around the world have pledged to support Koidu Mayor Saa Emerson Lamina in his efforts to compel OCTEA Mining, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSG Resources, to live up to its obligations to the City of Koidu and to the Kono community.
OCTEA mines diamonds in Kono District through its Koidu Kimberlite Project, and the company states that it is “committed to responsible development, working conscientiously and rigorously to assess the environmental and social impact of our projects.” It claims that it has invested $300 million in the project, and is seeking an infusion of $600 million more, yet its failure to abide by its agreement means that its contribution to the community has been minimal and, at least in part, benefit only its own employees and their families.
Under its agreements, and according to the laws of Sierra Leone, the company is required to fulfil the following obligations:
- Exhibition of its corporate social responsibilities;
- Compliance with the profit-sharing agreement;
- Utilization of the Community Development Fund;
- Compliance with the Underground Mining Agreement;
- Formation of the Koidu Development Trust;
- Payment of $100,000 for capacity-building of nationals and non-nationals.
The company’s failure to live up to its agreements, and in particular its poor compensation of employees and unresolved issues surrounding the forced location of a community to clear the site for mining, has resulted in protests and several deaths. OCTEA applies non-environmentally friendly mining methods which breach health and safety guidelines. The result has been an increasingly stressed population, the loss of lives and valuable property, and severe long-term environmental degradation.
This cannot continue without serious consequences to the people of Kono District – Our people – and to the land from which they derive their living. KDGO calls on the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to back the Mayor in his efforts to bring the company into compliance with its agreements and with the laws of Sierra Leone. KDGO pledges its support for the Mayor in his negotiations with the company and, should they fail, for all lawful methods to compel the company to do what it agreed to do.
The members of KDGO will not ignore the problems created by the company, and will not stand idly by. OCTEA must realize that the people of Kono District are more than the diamonds under their feet, and it must act accordingly. KDGO and its affiliates, of various ethnic groups and religions, in Sierra Leone and around the world, unite in this demand with one voice.
For more information contact:
Aiah Fanday – Chairman – 240-821-3641 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Isata Sambaya Sangbah – Vice Chair – 240-765-8413 / email@example.com
Sahr S. Sinah – Secretary General – 01-44-7414849138 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kono District Global Organization (KDGO) is a not-for-profit, non-political organization of Kono District indigenes that is committed to working through advocacy and dialogue towards a meaningful utilization and equal distribution of available resources and opportunities to aid in the advancement of economic, political and social development of Kono District descendants and their land.