Putu Iron Ore Mining (PIOM) on Monday disclosed that it has contributed about US$3 million into government coffers, as part of its annual responsibility to implement social programs in three counties in the Southeastern part of the country beginning 2015.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of PIOM, Christian Messurenko, named Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and RiverGee as the counties that would benefit from his company’s annual social responsibility to government.
“In September 2014, PIOM’s annual social contribution in the amount of US$3 million was paid into government coffers through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA),” Messurenko further disclosed.
Explaining further about his company’s settlement of its financial obligation with government, Messurenko disclosed that “We can confirm payment of all our financial obligations to government for fiscal year 2014/2015 in the tune of US$5 million and we look forward to resuming full activity within the new year of 2015.”
He made the disclosure on Monday, when he presented an Earth Lab equipment valued as US$50,000 to the mining, engineering and geology departments of the University of Liberia (UL) in a short presentation ceremony held at the university’s Fendell Campus, outside of Monrovia.
Presenting the lab, the PIOM boss added that it was in fulfillment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by his company and the university in 2013, to support mining, engineering and geology studies at the university.
He said, procurement and installation of the earth lab is fully funded by his company.
“Putu has consistently demonstrated commitment to honoring its corporate social responsibility and all other obligations under the MOU,” he emphasized.
Commenting further on his company’s contribution in the country’s education sector, Messurenko noted that they also contributed an amount of US$200,000 into a General Education Fund as was provided for in the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) also singed between his company and the government.
“This education fund which is launched today,” he added” will be used to provide scholarship and vocational training to students from the South East Counties of Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and River Gee, in order to equip them with marketable skills in the areas of construction and to prepare them for careers in mining, engineering and geology.”
Messurenko assured his company’s commitment to carry out mining project in Liberia, admitting “We have been experiencing difficulties since we obtained our mining license from government in July 2014.”
He made specific reference to the escalation of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).
“While the company was about to begin its construction phase of its project, we were faced with the prevailing health situation, which has caused some of our major foreign contractors to suspend their activities,” he stated.
“As a consequence,” he continued, “the company has been constrained to slow down its operations and as a result, we would regrettably begin reducing staff from November through December 2014.
“We want to use the opportunity to assure government and its international partners that we will continue to remain with you people combat the deadly virus,” he said, promising his company’s commitment in the Ebola virus fight.
He added that they have demonstrated, over the past months, by providing material and financial support to the Ebola Task Force in Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties respectively.
“We have equally supported the efforts of Medicines Sans Frontieres by providing five (5) mobile offices for use at the ELWA medical facility,” he said.
He continued, “We want to reassure partners that the constructions phase of the project, which was to have started in 2014 to 2017, we are anticipating starting next year.”
Receiving the equipment on behalf of the university, Dr. Emmet Dennis, president of the UL lauded the company for the assistance that would help to improve leaning activities especially for engineering students in his university.
Commenting on the scholarship assistance, Dr. Dennis said that only deserving students would benefit from it.