In continuation of its determination to ensure job opportunities for Liberians, the President George Manneh Weah’s administration, on Thursday, 09 September, 2021, finalized terms for an amendment to ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).
“The feat was achieved following two years of intense and difficult negotiations,” statement made available to The SUMMIT by the Deputy information Minister for Press and Public Affairs, Jawarlah A. Tonpo said.
“The Liberian Government and ArcelorMittal will sign the 3rd Amendment to the MDA on Friday September 9, 2021.
“The 3rd Amendment was required to ensure completion of ArcelorMittal Phase 2 project. The Government has secured this $800 million expansion project to build a mine concentrate, expand capacity of the Rail and Port from the current production of 5 MTPA to 15MTPA within 3 years and a reservation to increase production to 30MTPA over the long term.”
The statement further explained that the Government also secured a total $65 million payment from Arcelormittal which includes $55million USD reservation fee for further of expansion rights for the project to 30MTPA and $10 million signing bonus.
“The Government has also secured additional contribution of $300k to $500k annually for projects to be implemented directly by affected communities in Bong, Grand Bassa, and Nimba.
The ArcelorMittal expansion project will triple Iron ore production in Liberia with a corresponding increase in Government revenue and job creation. This $800 million Phase Two project will result in direct spending into the Liberian economy of approximately $200 million per year. The project will create approximately 1,200 direct employment and 400 indirect employment for Liberians. During Construction, there will be approximately 1,500 jobs created for Liberians.
The Amended MDA has improved the local content provisions of the agreement to require that within 2 years, AML and the Government to development a framework to ensure Liberian owned SMEs can participate in the expansion project through the purchase of goods and services from Liberian owned SMEs.
The Government ensure the possibility of a multiuser railroad and port infrastructure to allow Guinean Mining Companies to access Liberia’s transportation infrastructure. The Amended MDA allows for expansion of the Railroad and Port to potentially allow an initial 30MTPA of Iron ore from Guinea to transit through Liberia, with Liberia receiving transit fees and greater employment for Liberians.
Critically important, the Government has finally secured terms creating a framework for multiuse of the existing Rail and Port asset for transport of Guinea ore through Liberia. Following difficult discussions, the amended MDA now provides a clear framework in which the Government can enter into access agreements with Mining Companies for transport of Iron ore through Liberia.