Min. Mason Outlines Prospects for Liberia’s Iron Ore Industry
-As NTGL Nets in US$6M from the Sales of Buchanan Ore


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 25, 2005

The Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy, Jonathan Mason, says Liberia still has rich deposits of iron ore that can be tapped for future benefit of the country; writes Josiah S. Hallie.

Speaking over the weekend on Radio Veritas during the phone in talk show, Min. Mason indicated that the government has put up a biding process recently for companies interested in mining Mount Nimba, to bid for it.

He said the biding process was transparent in which representatives from the American Embassy in Monrovia and the British Consulate in Liberia were present to monitor the entire exercise.

According to him, when the biding process is over, the would-be winner will enter into a concessionaire agreement with the Liberian Government before it can start operations.

When questioned as to how many Liberians would be employed when the former LAMCO mine is reopened, Min. Mason said approximately 10,000 persons stand to benefit from the contract.

He disclaimed the notion that the ore deposit left at Mount Nimba is insignificant and has low quality grade. According to him, the present deposit of ore at Mount Nimba is over 450 million tons with purity contents of 53-63% of Fe.

During the talk show, Min. Mason also highlighted that apart from Nimba Mountain, Liberia has a vast reserve of iron ore at Mount Wologisi in Lofa County with an approximate deposits of 2.5 billion tons.

He said plans are underway to redo an exploration survey in Bong Mines and other mountains around the country after which everything will be computerized for future use by the ministry.

At the same time, the Lands, Mines & Energy boss has disclosed that the Transitional Government has realized six million United States dollars from the sale of iron ore at the Buchanan port in Grand Bassa County. He indicated that government’s previous estimate was 700,000 tons but unfortunately only 600,000 tons could be available for shipment because, according to him, the past regime, which he did not name, had sold some.

On the benefits of the two counties (Nimba & Bassa) where the ore is coming from, Min. Mason said modalities have been worked out with other relevant government agencies for the two counties to get their shares.

He stated that the USD10,000 given to each of the two counties was just a “tip of the iceberg” promising that the people of Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties will surely get the portion of their money.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.