New Direction May Strain Diplomatic Ties with the US

A very senior official from the American based company, Gerald Group International, the parent company of SL Mining has disclosed to this medium that the current impasse between their company and the New Direction-led Government has got the tendency to strain the diplomatic ties between the United States and Sierra Leone.
Our source maintains that the US Embassy in Freetown is closely following developments and is concern over the decision by the Government of Sierra Leone to firstly stop SL Mining from exporting Iron Ore just after a successful first shipment and eventually the cancellation of their licenses after an illegal request for a one million bound security.
SL Mining according to Gerald Group International had not done anything wrong as they had operated within the confines of the Mines and Minerals Act and the Mining Lease Agreement (MLA).
The Government of Sierra Leone is currently battling to overturn the decisions of two separate international arbitrations in the US on the termination of the licenses of SL. Mining.
As recent as the 30th January, 2020 reports from the SL Mining site at Lunsar, Northern Sierra Leone have indicated that officials from the NMA, the Sierra Leone Police, Lebanese and Asian nationals have bulldozed their way into the site to take pictures of the Iron Ore Concentrate at the site even when such entry was deemed to be forceful by Heads of Community Relations and Security of the Company.
On the 1st January again the Government was also accused to have increased deployment at the SL Mining site all without notifying SL Mining that is currently challenging the cancellation of their licenses by the Government of Sierra Leone.
A seasoned Mining Engineer with over three decades experience in the country mineral sector who is following the international arbitration in both the US and the UK has told this medium that the last minute ditch by the Government of Sierra Leone through a British Law Firm to present a jurisdictional argument before the British Chamber of Commerce is counterproductive as the issue of resorting to International Arbitrations whenever conflict occur by any of the parties is clearly provided for in the MLA.
Gerald Group is one of the world’s oldest and largest independent and employee-owned metal trading houses. Founded in 1962 in the United States, It is headquartered in London. Led by Chairman and CEO Craig Dean, the Group has approximately US$10 billion in turnover.
The Group operates trading hubs in Shanghai, Stamford and Switzerland for the merchanting of non-ferrous, ferrous and precious metals, as well as related concentrates and raw materials.

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