Invest In Mining
Opportunities in the Mining Sector Investments have been the mainstay of the Liberian economy, with iron ore leading the way. Revenues from iron ore accounted for nearly half of the country’s earnings prior to 1990. In 2006, ArcelorMittal became Liberia’s first major postwar investor in iron ore, investing $1.7 billion dollars to date.
There are still vast stretches of unexplored and unexploited areas in iron ore, including the Wologizi Mountain. Opportunities also abound in gold, diamonds, and the rehabilitation of latent rubber plantations. Artisanal diamond and gold mining present another opportunity for potential investors, as Liberians currently dominate this sector. Following the lifting of the UN ban on Liberian diamonds and accession to the Kimberly Process, Liberian diamonds are now accepted in international markets and socially acceptable to consumers. In light of this progress, the Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) has committed its expertise and resources towards helping the government of Liberia develop the diamond sector.
Potential investors have a plethora of choices, as Liberia is endowed with a variety of mineral resources, both higher-value metals and industrial minerals. Gold, diamonds, and iron ore are the principal mineral resources occurring in ancient greenstone belts in many parts of the country. Excellent potentials that are currently untapped are platinum, uranium and niobium, and base metals such as nickel, cobalt, tin, lead, and manganese. Other industrial rocks and minerals such as sulfur, phosphates, clays (kyanite), granite, silica sand, heavy mineral sands (rutile and ilmenite), and diabase/dolerite are also known to exist in both small and large quantities.
The government is committed to attracting and enabling private sector investments for the development of mineral deposits, particularly iron ore mines, and to promote new investments in the exploration and development of gold, diamonds, base metals, and other mineral deposits. Geological information and mineral data will be made readily and widely accessible to both small and large scale prospective investors.
Liberia’s mineral industry is dominated by iron ore mining. In addition to the proven large deposits of iron ore, the country has substantial diamond and gold deposits as well as good indications of manganese, bauxite, uranium, zinc, and lead deposits. Minerals are exported in raw or semi-finished forms and account for nearly one-fifth of the total export earnings of the country. Large-scale international companies hold mineral development agreements for mineral operations in Liberia.
- ArcelorMittal: The most notable of such operations is the mining at the Nimba orebody by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company. The ArcelorMittal operations include investment in railways, roads, port facilities, power generation, and other infrastructure. The company has currently embarked on a US$ 800 million investment plan to establish a concentration plant.
- Aureus Mining Inc., a Canadian registered and incorporated firm in Toronto, is engaged in the exploration and development of gold deposits in highly prospective and under-explored areas of Cape Mount County in western Liberia. The company has operations in neighboring Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
- Liberty International Mineral Corporation: Liberty is an aggressive gold, silver, and base-metal exploration company based out of British Columbia, Canada. The Company has identified 18 highly anomalous gold zones in Liberia. Two of those deposits are in the most advanced stages of exploitation as they are drill prepared. They hold the potential of being possibly world-class gold deposits.
Gold and diamond deposits, primarily exploited via alluvial and artisanal mining, are widespread in most parts of the country. Of late, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has adopted a posture to attracting medium to large-scale operations to exploit these minerals. Some investors have taken advantage of the Government’s offer in this area.