Mineral Survey Drones to Begin Operation in Liberia Soon

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One of the drones that will be conducting the geophysical survey.

The Chinese government through China-Aid has dispatched two mineral prospecting drones to Liberia to conduct geophysical surveys of areas with potential mineral deposits.

The geophysical survey of areas with potential mineral deposits in Liberia by China, according to the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy (LME), does not mean that it (China) is interested in mining in the country, but is rather fulfilling a bilateral agreement it reached with the Sirleaf Administration.

LME in a press statement said other methods of survey, including stream sediment sampling and soil sampling, had been done in the past, and that the geophysical survey is the last method to be carried out under the National Geological Mapping program.

“The drones are equipped with specialized geophysical instruments to pick up magnetic anomalies,” the LME release says.

According to the release, the exercise is expected to begin in early March and will continue up to the end of May 2018, and the two drones are to fly between the altitudes of 200 and 350 meters.

Some Liberian geologists, including Gabriel B. Saydee, told a news conference on Wednesday, Feb. 21, that the survey is the most advanced and most expensive to be carried out in Liberia to date.

Saydee, reading the LME press statement, urged Liberians dwelling in the territorial confines of the country not to panic as the ‘strange objects’ may re-invoke memories of the Liberian civil war when ECOMOG jets and the Charles Taylor government attack-helicopters carried out bombing missions in different parts of the country.

He added that the exercise will create a new geological map that will reflect the current mineral realities of Liberia, as the old map has turned out to be of limited use now.

Liberia is a mineral-rich country that mainly produces iron ore, gold and diamonds.

Although there have also been reports of offshore oil, prospects by multinational companies including CHEVRON have shown “no commercial quantity” so far.

Iron ore has been mined in huge quantities in Liberia and it remains one of the highest contributors to the government’s income.

The main mining site now is in Yekepa, Nimba County, where ArcelorMittal Liberia is operating. Two major gold mining companies including MNG Gold in Bong County and Bea Mountain in Grand Cape Mount County are also operating in the country.

The World Bank 2013 report indicates that the mineral industry accounts for 11% of Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which, according to analysts, is a pittance compared to the true value of the minerals exported.

Since the price of iron ore  dropped on the world market in 2014, Liberia has been striving to recover from this sharp drop in the price of the commodity.

Market Insider report indicates that the current world market price of iron ore as of February 21 is US$77.05.

Aside from Liberia’s 1980 Development and Planning Atlas, which contains information on mineral occurrence in Liberia, there is no other current report on the full extent and variety of mineral occurrence in Liberia but, according to Saydee, when the drones begin operating across the country new revelations about additional mineral deposits should be expected.

10 COMMENTS

  1. This is welcoming for us to create a new geological map that will reflect the current mineral realities of Liberia.
    Bravo to GOL

  2. Liberia is about to be cleanup of every inch of material deposit that is valuable under the soil by China. How can Liberian be so stupid by allowing another country to do such a sensitive survey. So the Chinese will know where all the minerials deposit are and locations before the Liberian goverment knows? It’s like letting some else count your money. Also suppose they don’t disclose everything they find? It a national security problem. The point is,
    it’s all about intelligence, if they know before we know,they got the advantage.

  3. This survey should have been the first exploration methods follow by stream , soil and others. I will suggest that a proper due diligence be established to authenticate the effectiveness of this drone.

  4. The mindless dismantling and auctioning of Liberia’s natural resources begun with Taylor and adopted by Sirleaf continues unabated under another inept regime. Very soon, if good form and proper order are not restored, we may cease to exist as a sovereign and independent state. “Pro-Poor” as a motto should be “Pro-Liberia” instead.

  5. This news is welcoming. I would strongly suggest that awareness campaign about the drones be conducted as soon as possible in those places the survey be carried out. Earlier awareness about the flying of the instrument will alleviate extreme fear some citizens could be faced with.

  6. This news is welcoming. I would strongly suggest that awareness campaign about the drones be conducted as soon as possible in those places the survey will be carried out. Earlier awareness about the flying of the instrument will alleviate extreme fear some citizens could be faced with.

  7. How realistic is this drones that is expected to fly some 200 to 350m above the earth surface to detect mineral deposits or ore deposits? What are instances or evidence that a drone can really deduce mineral deposits or ore deposits.by Harris Sammy

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