Africa Mineral now Shandong Steal, subsidiary of Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) Ltd. came to Sierra Leone between 2005 and 2006 and started exploring before becoming the biggest exporter of iron ore in Sierra Leone, having discovered huge amount of iron ore deposit in Tonkolili.
They came with all sorts of promises, giving the people of Sierra Leone huge hope that they will be employing over 22,000 young people but up till now they have not be able to live up to that expectation instead they have been getting serious problems with the few that they employed.
In fact, it is the general belief that the company went into administration because of massive mismanagement but they are saying that it was because of the plummeting price of iron ore.
Yes, it is true that the price of iron went down but other iron ore companies across Africa and the world have been able to weather the storm because they have not been reckless.
Recently, hundreds of workers took African Mineral/ Shandong to court for failing to pay their benefits.
The workers decided to go to court when they failed to negotiate their benefit at the Ministry of Labour after someone at the Ministry was accused of being bribed.
Similar accusation seems to be the reason why some of the cases in the court against African Mineral/Shandong have either been stalled or not being heard by the court and at the same time delaying justice.
Even Lawyers who are involved in some of these cases are grumbling because they also don’t seem to know the reason(s) why African Mineral/ Shandong Steel is getting its ways in the court.
There are number of cases in the court of Sierra Leone against Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) LTD and many of them have to do with people they have to pay and who are suffering and suffocating because Africa Mineral/Shandong Steal is using dark means to get its ways in the court.
Multinational Companies operating in Africa are in the habit of getting away with what they want because they pay their way for anything they want and it is believed, that is what is happening with cases against Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) LTD-African Mineral/ Shandong.
Up till now government is yet to look into police killing at Africa Mineral and the mysterious death of the leader of protesting, protesting against unfair working condition of the company.
Sierra Leoneans are calling on the government of President Julius Maada Bio to review some of the mining agreement of some of these mining companies and at the same time overhaul the judiciary of Sierra Leone to ensure equal justice for all.