The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ivanhoe Liberia and High Power Exploration (HPX), has congratulated President George Weah and President-elect Joseph Boakai for holding a “peaceful and transparent” election in Liberia.
In her letter of congratulations to the President-elect Joseph Boakai, dated November 28, 2023, Madam Bronwyn BARNES expressed her willingness to work with the President-elect for the improvement of Liberia and Liberians.
“Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your recent successful campaign and confirmation by the people of Liberia as their new president,” BARNES said. “I am pleased to note your return to public service and look forward to working with you and your administration to advance Liberia for the benefit of its people, in true partnership with its international investors.”
“It is pleasing to note that the election campaign by both parties was largely peaceful, was transparent, and adhered to the strong democratic principles that Liberians hold so dear. The confirmation that a democratic transition from President Weah to yourself will occur has provided an excellent example for other countries seeking similar democratic outcomes.” She told the President-elect.
According to the CEO of HPX, the true democratic environment that surrounded the just-ended election in Liberia will also enhance Liberia’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
BARNES also said that her company wishes to support the Liberian government in ensuring open, non-discriminatory access on a multi-user basis to the railway's valuable national infrastructure asset in accordance with best international industry practice.
“Ivanhoe Liberia and High Power Exploration have for many years sought to confirm rail access in Liberia for the Nimba Iron Ore Project in Guinea. In 2019, we entered into an agreement with the governments of Liberia and Guinea to secure rail access,” she said. “We wish to support the Government of Liberia in ensuring open, non-discriminatory access on a multi-user basis to this valuable national infrastructure asset in accordance with best international industry practice.”
“It is my hope that under your leadership and guidance, a new era will be ushered in for the development and expansion of this valuable infrastructure asset that is wholly owned by the Government of Liberia. A clear operating framework designed in line with best practice international principles will ensure that this valuable infrastructure asset is utilized to its full capacity by multiple parties, providing employment and economic activity for Liberia. This would also ensure substantial additional revenues for Liberia and fair and equitable rail and port access for all parties,” she said.
BARNES also disclosed that the existing rail line connecting Yekepa to Buchanan can provide the backbone for a broader multi-user infrastructure corridor initiative containing world-class rail, road, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure that could unlock the mineral, agricultural, and tourist potential of the Nimba region of both Liberia and Guinea.
Ivanhoe Liberia and High Power Exploration (HPX), entered into an agreement with the Governments of Liberia and Guinea in 2019 to secure rail access.
Consequently, HPX provided a pre-payment to the Government of Liberia of USD 37 million in March 2022, on the understanding that a rail access agreement for the existing line between Yekepa and Buchanan and the right to use the Port of Buchanan would be concluded during 2022.
HPX’s boss indicated that the United States Government is in support of initiatives like a multi-user railway that is very beneficial to the country’s economy.
The US Government indicated its support for such an initiative, similar in structure to the recently announced Lobito Corridor connecting Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo through a shared rail and transportation link to the port of Lobito in Angola. That project is being built with significant financial support from the United States, the European Union and highly regarded international investors.
Like the proposed Yekepa to Buchanan corridor that would link Guinea and Liberia, such projects support regional economic progress across borderlines to the benefit of several African nations by unlocking the economic potential of an entire region.
“It is my hope that you will support this concept, which so firmly brings US Government support for leveraging the value of existing Liberian infrastructure and I look forward to an opportunity to brief you and members of your administration further on this project and HPX’s plans to further invest in Liberia,” BARNES noted. “I extend to you my very best wishes for the success of the new government to be formed under your leadership. Please be assured of my every support and that of HPX as you work to implement your leadership vision for Liberia based upon the strong foundation of open and transparent engagement with the mining sector, and real partnerships to develop the economic potential of Liberia for the benefit of the Liberian people.” She indicated.
To President George Weah, BARNES said that the message of peace given by the President to his supporters to accept the result was synonymous with his personal integrity and strong moral code.
“It is with my greatest respect and admiration that I congratulate you on the recent elections in Liberia. The fact that the lead-up to the election was peaceful, the election process itself transparent, and the encouragement you gave to your supporters to accept the result is a testament to your personal integrity and strong moral code. I also wish to personally thank you for the support that you have given Ivanhoe Liberia and High Power Exploration over the past few years as we sought to confirm rail access in Liberia to support the development of the Nimba Iron Ore Project in Guinea.” Madam BARNES told President Weah.
The boss of Ivanhoe Liberia and High Power Exploration told President Weah in her letter that the Liberian leader’s name will forever be linked to the multi-user rail infrastructure in Liberia.
“Your commitment to ensuring that Liberians benefit from the infrastructure that they own was evidenced in your issuance of Executive Order 112 in October 2022, which provided for open, non-discriminatory access on a multi-user basis in accordance with best international industry practice. Your commitment to Executive Order 112 resulted directly in the United States Government considering the broader opportunities for a multi-user infrastructure corridor, containing world-class rail, road, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure that could unlock the mineral, agricultural, and tourist potential of the Nimba regions of both Liberia and Guinea. It is my hope that you will continue to support this concept, which so firmly brings US Government support for improvements to existing Liberian infrastructure. Your name will forever be linked to this project and is a testament to your foresight in championing multi-user access that has such great potential to create generational wealth for the people of Liberia.” She ended.