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Sierra Leone Detains Five Expatriate Managers at Iron-Ore Mine

Katarina Hoije

(Bloomberg) --

Five expatriate employees of SL Mining, a subsidiary of London-based Gerald International Ltd., were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of instigating unrest, the mining company said in a statement Saturday.

The five, members of senior management who are from South Africa, Great Britain, the U.S. and India, are suspected of triggering violence that led to the destruction of property in the township of Lunsar on April 30, according to the statement. No formal charges have been filed.

The arrests come amid the company’s legal battle with the government, which canceled SL Mining’s license to mine iron ore at the Marampa Project.

“Any attempt to link any bona fide land-lease payment obligations of SL Mining to the local riot in any way whatsoever is preposterous, completely erroneous and fanciful,” the company said. “SL Mining and its management team were not involved in any way in the local riot.”

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