The management of state resources is central to the quality of governance in any country.
In Sierra Leone, diamonds were indirect causes and fuelling elements of the war.
The misuse of diamond resources in an essentially single-product economy like Sierra Leone's has created huge disparities in socio-economic conditions.
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.
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.
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.The most important mineral resource in Sierra Leone is diamonds.This chapter will focus predominantly on diamonds and refer to other minerals where appropriate.4.Throughout the world, diamonds are objects of desire and admiration.