GERALD METALS ON THE SPOTLIGHT AS ACCUSATIONS OF BRIBERY SHEDS LIGHT ON THE US-BASED MINING COMPANY’S OPERATIONS IN SIERRA LEONE

Gerald Metals

Gerald Metals have taken the unprecedented steps to withdraw the mining license from Timis Mining and it seems the Stamford, Connecticut-based dealer in Metals-turned mining company, seems bent on influencing the way things play out on the ground in Sierra Leone as it positions itself to be the main player in the iron ore mining business on the ground in the West African State. And the US-based company is relying on a few corrupt officials to help them pull off a coup over Timis Mining against a backdrop of failure by Gerald to honor its commitments to Timis Mining to support the mines after majority shares were handed over to them by Timis.

Reliable sources on the ground in Freetown, the capital, intimate to this press that Gerald Minerals may be prepared to use dubious means to achieve its objective and deprive Timis Mining the right to own a mining license by influencing the decisions of a few corrupt officials on the ground.

As majority shareholders, it has become evident that they may have wilfully refused to entertain interested investors with a desire to come and in and help remedy the situation when it became clear that they had no intentions to honour the term sheet agreement which would have helped salvage the mine and make provision to help pay all the outstanding debts owed to the government of Sierra leone. A move that would have made a huge difference to the communities in that area.

Corruption among some officials in Sierra Leone is a worrying problem for the Head of State, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, who has instituted some of the most draconian deterrents to stop this malfeasance that has plagued the development potential of this otherwise fine West African State. Corruption continues unabated as some officials are determined to bring the government to disrepute.

Breaking news coming out of Freetown indicates that the license have been withdrawn and this press has been reliably informed that this has now provided good grounds for the liquidation of Timis Mining. This will in effect render all claims by secured creditors i.e. banks, etc, to be worthless. A few corrupt government officials collaborating with Gerald Metals at the expense of the country’s economic future, are hell bent on bankrupting legitimate and community oriented companies like Timis Mining that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to corporate social responsibility, in order to satisfy their selfish ends by offering under the table payments, so they can assume ownership of the license by registering a brand new company as a coy instrument to effect their illegitimate plans.

It has also come to light that Gerald Metals may have solicited the services of a former London Mining lawyer who was very much part and parcel of the demise of the London-based Mining company, which resulted in its liquidation. Impeccable sources from the West African state have intimated that Gerald Metals have been talking openly about getting the license, citing their links with corrupt government officials who may have taken significant bribes to ensure a smooth takeover by the rogue company. As Sierra Leone is poised for a political transition in the coming 2018 elections, such actions may pose serious problems for any incoming government that may have to pick up the pieces left by inept officials and may set a bad precedence which may deter other legitimate businesses from bringing in investments that may help overhaul the current economic state of the country.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has been very keen to discourage such rogue companies operating in the country, but as is evident, a few nasty and corrupt officials are determined to undermine his established outstanding anti-corruption record, which is second to none in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. Newstime Africa will continue its investigations as reports filtering through to this press are pointing towards a new initiative by US and British anti-corruption and anti-bribery officials embarking on new investigations over Gerald Metals’ handling of the entire affair in the West African State and are determined to expose those involved.

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