Liberia Senate approves US$1 bn Mittal iron deal

Liberia Senate approves US$1 bn Mittal iron deal

Liberia`s Senate has approved a US$1 billion iron ore mining deal signed with the world`s largest steel producer, Arcelor Mittal, opening the way for the start of the project, the government said.

Liberia`s upper house of parliament approved the project in a special session late on Friday and the formal ratification was announced on Monday by Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh. The lower house endorsed the project last week.

“This agreement is a significant step. The contract is expected to create about three thousand jobs for our people. Mittal is a huge company and its operation in Liberia will mean a lot for the people of this country,” Bropleh said.

In a final formality, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was now due to sign the agreement for it to be promulgated.

Her government last year renegotiated an initial Mittal agreement signed in 2005 with an unelected interim administration, boosting the state`s interest in the deal and raising the investment from US$900 million.

The 25-year deal signed in December gives Mittal the right to mine a huge, high-quality ore body in northwest Liberia with reserves currently estimated at 500 Mt of iron ore.

The revisions to the accord ensured the Liberian state would retain control of its main port of Buchanan and a railway serving the mine, both of which had been awarded to the steelmaker under the original agreement.

Information from: Reuters via

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