Several “undesirable” foreign nationals linked
Illegal mining activities have reportedly resurfaced in Nimba County with concentration recorded around the west bank of the Cestos River, near Behwalay Town in the Kparblee Administrative District.
The identities of those foreign nationals, who are allegedly connected to the illegal mining activities, and those who hired them as well as how they arrived at the river as their point of convergence have so far remained unknown, though locals claimed many of the miners come from countries in West Africa.
“They miners have reportedly installed two dredges in the river and are carrying on intensive mining activities during day and night hours without any consideration to the environment,” eyewitnesses have said.
The proliferation of suspected illegal alluvial mining, involving foreigners, is becoming alarming across the country, specifically in Nimba County where 40 persons were recently trapped under debris in Gbanepea Town, near Tappita District.
Last year, a group of unknown men, believed to be Malians, surfaced around the northern town of Buutuo with the same floating dredge for mining in Cestos River near the Liberian border with la Côte d’Ivoire. Residents however raised alarm, which thwarted the foreigners’ intention to mine near Bwelay Town, situated east of Buutuo Headquarters.
With this latest development in the mining sector, it is not clear whether the governments of Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire are officially informed about the presence of those allegedly linked to the border trade.
In the wake of the report, Nimba Superintendent David Dorr Cooper, has halted the alleged mining activity around Cestos River, Behwalay Town, shortly after receiving reports of unfolding developments.
Meanwhile, the office of Superintendent Dorr Cooper has invited to Sanniquellie, the county political capital, all those that are allegedly linked to the mining trade, to explain whether any government officials authorized them to mine minerals in those areas.