|Sierra Leone's alluvial diamond mining industry is facing difficulties as traditionally mined areas are depleted after decades of intensive digging, says Sierra Leone's online Sierra Express Media.
The news source says they have interviewed many diamond dealers who have confirmed that the industry "has declined sharply", with the closure of many diamond offices in Bo, Kenema and other diamond districts in the country.
One of the principle reasons for the decline of the industry, says the report, "is the exhaustion of most diamondiferous plots due to decades of incessant mining compounded by the massive illicit mining that obtained during the war years." The news source also points out that no major nationwide diamond prospecting exercise has taken place in the country since its independence in 1961. As a result, most of the areas prospected since the colonial times have been exhausted.The article laments that there have been no large diamonds discovered in Sierra Leone in recent years, and urges the government to start a nationwide diamond prospecting program to identify new deposits for exploitation, and to reinvigorate the industry.