The General Manager of Aureus Mining Company (AMC), Mr. Debar Allen, has disclosed that his company is set to produce at least 120,000 ounces of gold for the first six years of its operations, beginning 2015.
According to Mr. Allen, who made the disclosure recently at the commencement of pre-mining operations in Grand Cape Mount County, the production will be under its New Liberty Gold Project. If all goes as planned, it will be Liberia’s first commercial gold mine located in that part of the country.
The New Liberty Gold Mines project has an estimated reserve of 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 gold/tonne (g/t). “When fully operational, this project will provide much needed government revenue and employment for Liberians while developing human capacity and business opportunities for Liberian-owned SME’s,” Aureus said in a statement.
The company’s pronouncement comes at a time when the country is battling the deadly Ebola virus disease, which forced most foreign concessions to scale back some of their operations and pull out their expatriates. However, Aureus’ Liberian subsidiary, Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, has remained in country, demonstrating its commitment to providing jobs and maintaining its schedule throughout the health crisis.
Aureus’ announcement has been welcomed in some quarters as the nation’s economy is already challenged.
Mr. Allen assured the government of the company’s fullest commitment to the project over the period of its operations. He added that AMC is dedicated to all aspects of its Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).
He disclosed: “We are also concluding the construction of modern homes and a health center for the community. We have already completed the construction of a school, mosque, church, hand pumps and latrines across the RAP Village, as a means of providing basic human needs for the community.”
At that pre-mining commencement ceremony, it was announced that AMC had signed an agreement with MonuRent, Inc., a major equipment rental and fleet management company currently operating throughout West Africa, including Liberia.
“In fulfillment of this agreement, on Friday, December 12, 2014, MonuRent, officially made its first delivery of several mining equipment, at a ceremony held at the mines,” AMC said in a statement.
MonuRent is the leading heavy equipment and service provider in West Africa. It specializes in turn key projects with life of equipment support and has been committed to Liberia since 2012.
At Aureus’ project site, it was disclosed that the equipment supplier company is installing a state of the art training facility, which will house the computer generated machine simulators for all of its major equipment.
“These simulators,” according to MonuRent, “give a major advantage to new employees, who have never seen large equipment such as 200 tonne hydraulic excavators and 100 tonne rear dump trucks and will improve the safety effort on the mine site whilst delivering training and development opportunities to Liberians.”
“This is a significant investment that will assist in developing our human resource to delivering long term opportunities for the Liberian people.”
At the equipment hand over, MonuRent’s chief operating officer Dan Hoppe paid tribute to AMC for their commitment to the project and commended them on the quality of the construction so far, indicating that the mine and the facilities are of world class standard.
He also paid tribute to the efforts of their employees who he said have been pivotal in assisting AMC achieve this major milestone and confirmed MonuRent’s long-term commitment to Liberia.
The equipment presentation was made by MonuRent’s Country Manager, Mr. Chris Goodwin and received by the AMC’s General Manager Debar Allen and his colleague, Thinus Strydom, General Manager for Mines and Construction.
The pre-mining ceremony which took place at the company’s operations site in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount, was attended by Madam Ciata Bishop, Director General of the National Bureau of Concessions (NBC). Madam Bishop expressed happiness over the commencement of gold mining activities in Liberia.
“We want to thank AMC and MonuRent for remaining committed to investing in Liberia amid the Ebola outbreak. We also thank the companies for providing employment opportunities for many Liberians especially the youths,” she noted.
She used the occasion to commend the two companies for the level of work performed and living up to the project. She later boarded one of the trucks to get a close glance and see how it functions.