The creation of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) was based on Government approval of a transformation plan to restructure the institutional governance of the mining sector so that the governance role is separated from the operational role. These institutional reforms provide for:
- establishment of a National Minerals Agency (NMA).
- a reformed Ministry of Mineral Resources (MMR).
The Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources is now responsible for legislation and policy formulation (and oversight) for the mining and minerals sector.
The National Minerals Agency was established by an act of parliament in 2012, The National Minerals Agency Act (2012), and on 7th March 2013, His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, formally launched the Agency in Freetown at an impressive ceremony attended by stakeholders in the minerals sector and development partners.
The NMA is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Mines and Minerals Act (2009) and other mining acts and related regulations. This includes responsibility for mineral rights management, collecting and disseminating geological information and regulating the trading of precious minerals.
The effective management of the country’s natural resource wealth is critical for achieving high sustainable growth. The NMA will serve as a key ‘enabler’ in achieving Government’s core objective of delivering economic growth and reducing poverty. The institutional changes the NMA will foster in this vital sector will help ensure the country can obtain the full potential from it, in a sustainable way, for the benefit of the economy and the people.
Rationale for the NMA
The principles that underpin the new institutional model for the National Minerals Agency in Sierra Leone are built upon best practice in minerals sector governance and public sector reform from around the world – including a number of African countries.