While the elite and their business associates in the diamond industry have lived in grandeur, the poor have invariably been left to rue the misappropriation of the collective wealth.5.
Gold, iron and more recently bauxite have been discovered in the north.
Iron ore at Marampa was a major foreign-exchange earner until mining there was closed down in the mid-1990s.
In the past, these resources have benefited a small elite group of Sierra Leoneans as well as Lebanese, Senegalese, Gambian, Guinean and Nigerian traders and a sprinkling of other groups from the sub-Saharan region.3.
Despite its huge mineral resources, Sierra Leone has remained one of the poorest countries in the world.
Extensive alluvial and kimberlitic diamond deposits, as well as bauxite, rutile and gold, are found in the east and the south of the country.