The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Umaru Napoleon Koroma has told a gathering of business leaders in Istanbul, Turkey that Sierra Leone is a better destination for investment into the minerals sector as the country boasts vast mineral resources including an estimated 600 million tons of natural rutile ore deposits – the largest in the world. He said a recent geophysical survey carried out in the northern region has also led to the discovery of lithium – a high-value mineral used to produce a variety of goods used in the electrical and automobile industries.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources was speaking as a special guest at the World Cooperation Industries Forum held between the 18th and 19th September 2023 in Turkey. He further enthused the audience when he asserted that; “Our Mineral deposits offer significant opportunities for high returns in investments and we welcome investors from all over the world especially Turkey to explore these opportunities….”
He said diamonds from Sierra Leone have been recorded among the largest finds in the world. adding that a 970-carat stone dubbed the “Star of Sierra Leone” was at the time of discovery, recorded as the third largest diamond in the world.
A more recent discovery of a 709 carat, according to the Deputy Minister still occupies the position of 13th largest diamond in the world. Umaru Napoleone Koroma also maintained that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been critical to the growth and development of Sierra Leone. He said an SME Agency had been established by the government to develop SSMEwhmakesmake up 75% of all businesses in Sierra Leone, accounting for 85% of employment and contributing about 70% of our GDP.
“My presence here today as a delegation from the government of Sierra Leone is a testament to our continued positive relations which we share with the people of Turkey whose businesses are providing us electricity under the Karpowership, managing the entrance into our country, our new airport under the Summa company and many other businesses. We are inviting Turkish business people into our mining sector as we set about to create mineral wealth for the development of our country under the Big Five of the Agenda of His Excellency the President…” he concluded.
The World Cooperation Industries Forum was the 9th in a series of forums held to bring together top manufacturing companies in Turkey and over 43 African Countries to directly engage and create business opportunities. This engagement would lead to the establishment of cooperative agreements between Turkish businesses and African countries in a win-win situation.