Arcelor Mittal to Halt Investment Plan If….

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The Management of Arcelor Mittal -Liberia has objected to the recent concession agreement between the Government of Liberia and Prista Port, and threatening not to proceed with phase two of its proposed investment plan unless the prevailing situation is addressed by the Government of Liberia appropriately and satisfactorily.

“The importance of this matter is such that AML cannot proceed with its phase two investment proposal that is underway unless or until the situation can be corrected,” AML said in a letter.

In the Letter of Objection sent to the Ministry of State on December 12, 2019, AML expressed its total objection to the concession agreement, because it accordingly overlaps greater portion of the current concession area under the control of Arcelor Mittal Liberia in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The letter, signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Scott Lowe, said: “We have been advised that some initial agreements have been executed.

“Of critical importance is that it awards the Iron ore port and most of the associates facilities currently under Mittal’s control to Prista Port,” the letter said.

“This undermines and creates uncertainty regarding the security and tenures of Arcelor Mittal in business and future investment,” it added.

The letter also indicates that recently, representatives of Prista Port approached Arcelor Mittal in London and said that their concession would come into effect and would eventually replace Arcelor Mittal as a concessionaire.

“We reject this assertion of Prista Port and maintain that no valid concession can ever be granted that overlaps AML’s concession areas,” AML’s letter said.

“The company requires absolute certainty that its concession and permit are in good standing as an essential component of its business case for investment and cannot consider an investment where security of tenure is in dispute or at risk.”

The company is also demanding a written communication from the government, confirming that the government has not or will not ratify any concession agreement with Prista Port and secondly, will not grant any concession that overlaps or in any way reduces AML concession areas while it remains valid.

The detail of this controversial concession agreement between Prista Port and the Government of Liberia is still unknown, but in the opening statement of the letter, AML said Prista Port and the government through the National Port Authority entered into an agreement, but could not specify the date or role of Prista Port Buchanan LLC.

Arcelor Mittal began shipping ore in 2011, under a Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) that authorizeS it (Mittal) to use all facilities left by LAMCO, including the estates in both Yekepa and Buchanan.

The railroad and the Port of Buchanan were left to be rented by Arcelor Mittal.

Besides the 4% royalty that goes to the Government of Liberia, Arcelor Mittal is under obligation to provide US$3 million annually for social development to Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties within the 25-year operational period. AML is also to construct, maintain and operate health facilities in the Concession Area with modern equipment and with procedures with accepted international standards, and provide training for Liberian citizens for skilled, technical, administrative and managerial positions.

The pavement of road linking Ganta and Yekepa promised by Mittal is yet to be completed.

Currently, Mittal is mining a virgin mountain known as Gangra in line with the 25-year agreement.  Citizens in Nimba County, where US$1.5 million of the social development fund goes, cannot vividly account whether or not this money has been coming as most of the affected communities in the mining area virtually remain in an impoverished condition.

1 COMMENT

  1. Besides the 4% royalty that goes to the Government of Liberia, Arcelor Mittal is under obligation to provide US$3 million annually for social development to Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties within the 25-year operational period. AML does not give this money on time so fuck them. During the Ebola, they even cut that amout down to 50%.

    AML is also to construct, maintain and operate health facilities in the Concession Area with modern equipment and with procedures with accepted international standards, and provide training for Liberian citizens for skilled, technical, administrative and managerial positions. AML has not renovated, refurbished any of the facilities they met in Yekepa, Buchanan or the Quarry in Bong county. Area F and most of the areas in Yekepa is bush. Only area EA, EB and EU were renovated for their expat staffs and senior staffs.

    In Buchanan, only the expats have running water and electricity 24/7. My brother is a train Driver. Well trained by AML standards. He makes $700 a month when the white expats from South Africa makes close to $10,000 a month. They do the same job. Go to the hospitals in Yekepa and Buchanan, there are no drugs. No recreational facilities….and AML use 14 seated bus to transport kids to school. If your house needs painting in the loop, you are told to buy your own paint. You cut your own grass. AML asked people living in their staff quarters to pay for the stove, refrigerators and AC in their houses every month. These are things that never happen under the former company LAMCO. They AML, are worse than LAMCO. They can’t even match LAMCO 10%

    I heard AML is still using the train wagons left by LAMCO. They met infrastructure built by LAMCO in five years of operation. AML has been in Liberia since 2005 and haven’t done a damn thing. The port of Buchanan was built by and maintained by LAMCO but handed over to the government. LAMCO also built their own Iron Ore pier that AML met there which is adjacent to the port of Buchahan. AML ships raw ore. LAMCO had a Washing and Pellet Plants that processed the ore before shipping. AML has been nothing but a disappointment in Liberia. They met the port, the railways, houses, modern facilities. All they had to do was renovate and refurbish……They even met facilities for power stations, water plant, telecommunications and what have you.

    The pavement of road linking Ganta and Yekepa promised by Mittal is yet to be completed. have they completed the road? No……but then again, I blamed the corrupt government who gifted the concession to those Indian crooks due to bribes. So Scott Lowe, shut your stink pig mouth and go back to Australia. If you like, you can close down AML. Your investment in Liberia has not meant a thing. Within one year, you guy shipped more ore than LAMCO shipped in five years.

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