Superintendent Etweda Cooper of Grand Bassa County
No Illegal Sand Mining in Grand Bassa, Says Official
By Johnson Liway, LINA Grand Bassa County Correspondent
BUCHANAN, March 31 (LINA) -TheCadministration has denied reports of illegal sand mining near the St. John River Bridge.
Speaking on Radio Gbehzohn Talk Show “Good Morning Bassa” over the weekend, the County’s Chief Information Officer, Eddie Williams, said when news about illegal mining by the Chinese broke out, Superintendent Etweda Cooper, made four visits to the site and placed a halt to whatever was going on there.
Williams said the Superintendent then invited those on the site to produce relevant documents from the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), before resuming their operations.
Citizens of Grand Bassa County recently raised alarm about illegal sand mining near the St. John River Bridge, in Upper Buchanan and other districts of the county, by Chinese and local investors.
The citizens expressed fear that mining sand near the St. John Bridge may undermine the bridge which serves as a gateway to Buchanan and rural parts.
They complained that the Chinese are not only mining sand, but are also mining gems such as gold and diamond with sophisticated machines.
However, Mr. Williams said there are numerous mining operations going on in Bassa which include sand mining, minerals and other deposits.
Mr. Williams said the classes of mining licenses issued by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, which has the statutory mandate to do so, are classes “A, B & C”.
He said A & B licenses deal with mechanized mining, while “C” deals with local or manual mining.
He said the only problem is that the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry does not inform county authorities through written communications about these developments, and this has caused the citizens to raise eyebrows.
Information Officer Williams said mining is going on in District# 3c, bordering Bong County, and also in District#2 in Neekreen Statutory District, for granite or fine stones, but not sand.