Liberia Risk If…

22 JUNE 2022

The New Republic Liberia (Monrovia)

The European Ambassador to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, said it would be detrimental for Liberia if there were a situation in which Arcelor Mittal was not to realize its investment, which it has been planning with the Liberian government for some time now.

He made the statement this week when he appeared as a guest on OK FM radio station.

He said; “there is one issue which is very contentious at the moment which is of course the Arcelor Mittal Mineral Development Agreement ratification. He said it was a major issue for Liberia.

“What I want to say, the message I want to pass is if there were to be a situation where Arcelor Mittal will not be a possibility to realize this major investment it has been planning with the support of the government, 800 hundred million dollars to triple the production of iron ore, then this will be very detrimental for the people of Liberia; not only for the country but also for the people of Liberia,” he said.

The Liberian government last year signed the third amended Mineral Development Agreement(AML has nine more years than its previous MDA signed in 2004). Due to the huge level of investment, it wants to make; AML signed an agreement that needed to be ratified by the legislature. But the legislature returned the MDA on grounds that AML needed to effect some changes which have to do with third-party use of the rail.

Following that, HPX which is registered in Guinea wants to use Liberia’s rail to transport its ore for shipment through the port of Buchanan. This has been the issue of strong contention that the Liberian Government and AML are still discussing.

The Ambassador said, “‘there is one issue which is very important, the AML, MDA ratification. This is a major issue for Liberia. I do not want to enter into it, because there are confidential and difficult talks going on at the moment. There is an issue around that which has to do with competition with other mining companies, with domestic politics and all of that.”

“I just want to send a message of hope that an agreement can be found between everybody and this investment can go a long way and other investments can go along so that Liberia can benefit from its natural resources. Also better transformation of it from national recourses.”

SOURCE: https://allafrica.com/stories/202206220178

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