RDF January Newsletter

RDF continues to support government institutions in 12 countries to progress on digitalization. In this month’s newsletter, we will focus on RDF’s work in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone just published its EITI Validation Report auditing the year 2019. The report gives credit to the MCAS system and the GoSL Online Repository used by the National Minerals Agency.

Here is what the report says:

Sierra Leone has an online (an updated) cadastre system, the Mining Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) which provides information on the following with the view to ensuring transparency in the management of minerals rights. This Online Repository of mining licenses contains data on all issued mineral rights, exploration, mining, as well as dealers and export licenses, related payments (type of license, license holder, license code, status active/non active, coordinates, start date, expiry date, application date, the commodity being produced, etc.). Open to the public, the system is further linked to the tax authorities’ systems. This system allows them to publish revenues from the sector online and therefore makes a significant contribution to transparency efforts in license management. The data is published directly from the Mining Cadastre Administration System (MCAS), where all licenses are managed by the National Minerals Agency (NMA).

Sierra Leone Online Repository publishing directly from MCAS showing artisanal licenses in yellow.

A leader on Artisanal Licenses

While most countries keep talking about the need to formalize of the ASM sector, Sierra Leone is a little known success story. All artisanal miners in Sierra Leone have a license. If they dont, the landowner misses out on a share of the export duties. And the regional offices of the National Minerals Agency have delegated powers to issue the artisanal license without waiting for any approvals from the capital. They manage the artisanal licenses within their area in a separate workspace in the MCAS system, all under the authority of the Regional Mines Engineer and in close collaboration with the chiefdom mining committees.

The artisanal miners in Sierra Leone are even tax compliant, as they prepay a flat income tax fee as part of their license fees. Its by far the best setup for artisanal license compliance in the region.

  • 4 regional offices with mines wardens operating in the mining areas, demarcating licenses and helping the miners get a license
  • Licenses are issued in close collaboration with the chiefdom mining committee, representing the land owners, who get a share of the export duty based on the number of licenses issue in their chiefdom.
  • 1,249 artisanal licenses

Dealers and exports certification

The National Minerals Agency issues dealer and export licenses using the MCAS system. The number of exporters have been steadily increasing over the year, as more compliance is gained also by the international buyer being able to verify the exporter through the portal. International buyers are now verifying the exporters in the portal prior to any deal, and scams associated with fraudulent exports have been greatly reduced.

MCAS is now also used at the central bank by the NMA Precious Minerals and Trade department, where the gold and diamond exports are valued and certified before shipment to airport. All valuation data is recorded in MCAS and certificates printed. NMA inspectors at the airport also add inspection checklist to the record.

  • 163 dealer licenses
  • 80 exporters
  • All exports of gold and diamonds are certified through MCAS

Integration with Revenue Authority

The MCAS system at NMA issues invoices eletronically to the collector at the National Revenue Authority, who uses the NTRS payment system provided by RDF. The invoice is received in NTRS and payment is confirmed by NRA against their chart of account. The NTRS sends confirmation back to MCAS.

The auditors from the National Auditing Service have their own user account in MCAS to audit the payments.

Environmental Licenses

The Environment Protection Agency in Sierra Leone use ECAS, delivered by RDF. The EIA license is registered in ECAS and published in the EPA Online Repository portal.

EPA have currently 129 active EIA licenses.

Local Government

Many councils use our REMOP system for mass-valuation of properties for property tax collection and business licensing.

Other Highlights

  • RDF held a webinar on online reporting for the mining sector on 26 January, presenting all the functionality in MCAS and the Online Repository portal for how copmanies can manage their reporting online.
  • In Ghana, the Minerals Commission no longer accepts paper applications for licenses. Over 500 company representatives are now onboard with the new e-services provided in the Ghana Mininig Repository portal.
  • The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board is preparing for launch of its GIMCS system, implemented by RDF using te MCAS and Online Repository platform. Soon companies will be able to manage and apply for licenses using the portal e-services. You can already see the portal and the new license registry here; https://gimcs.rmb.gov.rw/
  • Online Repository portal were upgrade with new map technology. By default its now using OpenStreetMap, but can also connect to the xCAS GIS Geoserver to show the same background map as is used for the xCAS. It has more GIS configuration options and loads faster.
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