Stipulations contained in the recently ratified Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the Hummingbird Resources (Liberia), Incorporated, shows that government will receive US$1.5 million as signature fee, and another US$1.5 million for mining license.
According to the report submitted to the Senate plenary by its Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, government will receive the two amounts within 15 days of the effective date, and the granting of the mining license; the National Investment Commission (NIC) will be allotted US$100,000 from the signature fees.
The hurriedly ratified document in possession of this newspaper shows that from year 5-10, each production area will receive contributions to its Community Development Fund in the amount of US$200,000; and from contract year 11 through the end of term, each production area will receive US$250,000 through its County Development Fund (CDF).
Within three months from the date of commercial production, “the company shall provide US$50,000 for local scholarship for Liberian students and permanent residents of the counties in which the production areas are located. ”
The Tubman University in Maryland County, according to the document, will receive an annual contribution of US$75,000 for environmental science studies and related disciplines.
The company, among others, shall pay taxes and duties pursuant to applicable laws of the country except otherwise indicated in the MDA; while income tax rate shall not exceed 25% during the first 15 years of the MDA. And royalty on gold shall be 3%,while royalty on all other minerals shall be in accordance with the revenue code.
In conclusion of the report submitted to the Senate Plenary Thursday, February 28, 2019, the Committee on Lands, Mines and Energy chaired by Lofa County Senator George Tamba Tengbeh, stated that most of the concerns raised by President George Weah in his veto last year were already addressed in the MDA ratified by the Senate, and concurred to by members of the House of Representatives.
“The wrong MDA copy apparently reached the desk of the President as evidenced by the return with the veto communication, one of the older versions of the MDA in 2018; there are however, few other issues in the previously-ratified MDA, which have been raised by the President, and have now been addressed by the Inter-ministerial Mineral Technical Committee.
“With the above clarifications, the Senate Committee…hereby recommends to plenary to approve the revised MDA between the GoL and the Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated,” the report concluded.
The failure of the Committee to distribute copies to individual Senators ahead of its sitting and reading of it in open plenary on last Thursday, caused an uproar and protest walkout from Chamber by Senators Gbleh-bo Brown, Oscar Cooper, Prince Y. Johnson and Sando D. Johnson, describing the action as complete disregard for the Senate’s Standing Rule.
Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Inc., headquartered in Monrovia, engages in the exploration and mining of gold. It also operates as a subsidiary of Hummingbird Resources PLC.