Monrovia, Liberia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the commissioning of Liberia’s first gold mining investment, estimated at US$250 million, signifies a vote of confidence in the country as a favorable choice for foreign business development and an opportunity to join the ranks of gold-producing nations around the world.
According to an Executive Mansion release, speaking during the dedication ceremony of the New Liberty Gold Mine, a subsidiary of the Bea Mining Corporation situated in Kanjor, Gola Konneh District, Grand Cape Mount County, the Liberian President said the opening of the processing plant comes at a crucial time especially when the iron ore, which is one of Liberia’s major export earner is experiencing global stress on the world market.
President Sirleaf commended the Board of Directors and Management of New Liberty Gold Mine for their resilience and determination to keep the project on course in spite of the Ebola outbreak. She recalled her visit more than a year ago when the plant was under construction and reiterated her initial impression about an investment set to enhance the nation’s socio-economic livelihood.
The Liberian leader praised the New Liberty Gold Mine’s relationship with workers, the community and the government. She said although the company has not attracted resistance as in other concession areas – ruling out grievance was unlikely; but noted that there is always an opportunity for dialogue. She challenged the New Liberty Gold Mine to endeavor free Liberia of its dependence on the iron ore monopoly.
In brief remarks, Liberia’s Lands Mine and Energy Minister, Patrick Sendolo termed as a momentous achievement the realization of the commissioning ceremony within a relative short period of time and a milestone that gold is now being mined on an industrial scale. He noted that New Liberty Gold Mine proved the most unprecedented investment inroad since the administration took over and added that government is committed to inspiring investors that demonstrate the capacity to invest. He paid tribute to President Sirleaf for her leadership as well as the entire management team of the Ministry for its unflinching support.
Earlier, the President & Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining Company, a subsidiary of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation/New Liberty Gold Mine, Mr. David J. Reading said despite challenges amid gold at 45 percent at its value coupled with the Ebola scourge – it was almost impossible to believe that his company’s efforts would translate into Liberia’s first gold mining investment.
Mr. Reading said the New Liberty Gold Mine was pleased with government’s support aimed at the relocation of 2,000 local inhabitants in 2013 to benefitting accommodation in order to pave the way for their operations. The New Liberty Gold Mine CEO indicated that the Project has been able to keep its commitment, which has culminated not only into Liberia becoming a gold producing nation but the country’s first ever gold mining operations of commercial value.
As part of the company social impact intervention, due recognition has been accorded adjoining communities taking into account the gender factor – providing empowerment – life skills; sustainable agriculture initiatives and was reported that currently 10 women are chauffeuring Chinese-made trucks in their mining operations.
Mr. Reading also revealed that in order to support the participation of Liberian-owned businesses in its operations – the services of Aminata Gas Station have been hired for the supply of petroleum products while Cape Mount Construction Company on the other hand is involved various construction projects at the mine processing plant. He however thanked President Sirleaf, the government and people of Liberia who supported New Liberty God Mine from the inception.
This latest development has ultimately broken the jinx of alluvial mining, which is largely laborious and did not impact significantly on government revenue-generation.