The President of the Liberia Chamber of Mines, Amara Kamara, has informed investors at the just-ended Investing in African Mining conference in South Africa that Liberia is fast becoming a new destination for gold in West Africa as evidenced by an increase in gold exploration, gold mining, and semi-industrial gold mining activities around the Country.
The Mining Indaba conference, which is a space for high-impact networking for the African mining industries, brings together the mining giants and policymakers to discuss issues relating to capitalization and the development of mining interests in Africa.
Succeeding for over 27 years, Mining Indaba has a unique and widening perspective of the African mining industry, bringing together visionaries and innovators from across the spectrum.
At the conference, Kamara said while there seem to be challenges in the mining sector, presently, the prospect of gold discovery and mining is increasing significantly, encouraging more foreign investment in the sector, leading to the creation of more jobs with companies and for local geologists to contribute to the development agenda of the country.
“It is clear that the country itself is fast becoming a new destination for gold in West Africa as evidenced by an increase in gold exploration, gold mining, and semi-industrial gold mining activities around the Country,” Kamara said. “Increased formal and informal mining activity has resulted in growing annual gold Exports to over 7,000kg in recent years and an increase from 5mpta to 7mpta of iron ore per year.”
“There are a number of operators in Liberia who are leading efforts in making Liberia the new gold destination; and the artisanal mining sector (ASM) of Liberia has attracted both local and foreign miners owing to the limited barriers to entry in this sector, including limited expertise and equipment utilized and the income and livelihood that this informal sector offers,” he added.
The Liberia Chamber of Mines, which Kamara heads, is a private sector association of companies and industry actors that aims to further strengthen the role of the private sector in advancing Liberia's mining industry. It offers a coordinated dialogue space amongst industry actors and with national regulators and other key stakeholders. In addition, the Liberia Chamber of Mines also prioritizes enhancing local supply chain integration into Liberia's mining sector.
Kamara also informed the conference participants that Liberia has rich mineral deposits – particularly iron ore, gold, and diamonds – and has been a leading export sector.
He added that the country's major minerals are exported mainly in raw or semi-finished forms. Manganese, bauxite, uranium, zinc, and lead deposits are also present.
“The government issues Kimberly Process (KP) Origin Certificates, which enable the legal export of rough diamonds to other KP member countries. With the gradual recovery in global iron ore prices, iron ore production plays a significant role in the economy, accounting for more than 47 percent of total Export earnings in 2020.