The Chairman said the regional approach to the implementation of the Kimberley process (KP) in the Mano River Union was established by the Kimberley Process Certificate scheme (KPSC) in 2013 to support the Mano River countries to address the challenges to KPSC implementation with a regional direction.
The Chairman further noted that Sierra Leone is the leading diamond producer and exporter, adding that in 2014 Sierra Leone exported 620,181 carats valued at $221m and in 2015 the country exported 500,039 carats valued at $154m.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral resources, Mr Abdul Ignosi Koroma said negotiation between government and Civil Society Organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley process certification scheme in November 2002.
The Minister said KPCS imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them clarify shipments of rough diamonds as conflict free and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade.
He furthered that the KPCS has made it harder for criminals, noting that it brought large volumes of diamonds onto the legal market that would not otherwise have made it there.
The Minister said KP is face with more challenges and it is in this line that the technical adviser of KP Regional Approach in creating multi stakeholder National taskforce that involves all key stakeholders in the diamond industry.
The General Director of National Mineral Agency, Sahr Wonday said the Agency was formed in March 2013 by the President of Sierra Leone .He continued that the Agency is famous for minerals resources especially diamonds.
He explained that the president set up a task force to review the mining sector and update the Mines and Mineral Act. He said that the Mineral Agency is the industrial regulator and the technical arm, while the government is the political arm.
He furthered that the vision of the National Minerals Agency is to ensure that Sierra Leoneans derive maximum benefits from their minerals.
The Manager and the Senior Valuer, Gold and Diamond office, Mr Samuel Koroma gave a brief history of the KP. He said the KP started as a result of the civil war in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the late 1990s. He explained that it was a joint effort by the government and civil society organisations.
The Director of Mines, NMA Mr Peter Bangura did a fifteen minutes power point presentation, explaining the export process and it challenges on Minerals.
Representatives from the police and Office of National Security made statements at the workshop regarding their roles and challenges they face in the mining sector.