LIBERIA: HPX to acquire highly prospective iron ore licenses in Liberia and multi user port facilities at Monrovia Port
US Company High Power Exploration Inc (“HPX”) announced on Wednesday December 6, 2023, that the Company had signed non-binding term sheets for the twofold acquisition of iron ore licenses in Liberia adjacent to the existing Yekepa-Buchanan rail line, and the acquisition of Alliance Terminal Logistics (“ATL”) which has agreements in place to develop multi-user port facilities at Freeport of Monrovia.
A press release from HPX quoted the Chief Executive, Bronwyn BARNES, as saying that the company has significantly progressed its plans to develop the Nimba-LOLA Iron Ore Project in Guinea.
“HPX has significantly progressed its plans to develop the Nimba Lola Iron Ore Project in Guinea, and given the Company has the right to export its product from Guinea using existing infrastructure in Liberia, it makes sense for us to also secure iron ore opportunities in Liberia and leverage our reputation and operations to expand our iron ore footprint in West Africa.” Bronwyn BARNES said.
According to the HPX boss, “the St John River North and South licences are strategically located within the proposed Liberty Multi User Infrastructure Corridor and previous work completed by the USGS has identified a potential exploration target of 650 million tonnes of up to 58% Fe. The St. John River iron ore licences are highly prospective, and given the extensive exploration experience and success within the HPX group, the Company is looking forward to implementing an active exploration programme to advance the St John River projects.”
In the HPX’s press release, the CEO of the company explicitly gave reasons why the American company is confidently engaging in business in Liberia.
“The recent elections in Liberia were conducted peacefully and transparently, demonstrating Liberia’s stable political environment. Statements made by President Elect Joseph Boakai confirming his support for the mining sector, and his commitments to an open and transparent relationship with mining companies, underlines our confidence in expanding our footprint into Liberia. HPX looks forward to being part of the growth of Liberia’s mining community and working collaboratively with the Government of Liberia to expand both the mining industry and multiuser infrastructure opportunities centred on the Liberty multi user infrastructure corridor.”
“HPX is excited to work with the new administration to progress the development of the multi-use infrastructure corridor to support its iron ore properties in both Liberia and Guinea.” She said.
The St. John River iron ore licenses in central Liberia, previously held by BHP, encompass a combined total area of almost 250 km2, giving HPX a significant presence in Liberia, complementing its Nimba Lola iron ore project in Guinea.
The St John River North and South tenements have had limited exploration activity; however, historical mapping work completed by the United States Geological Survey (“USGS”) at the properties demonstrated significant showings of Banded Iron Formations (“BIF”), supporting an iron ore resource exploration target of approximately 650 million tonnes.
No material exploration work has been conducted on these properties since the original mapping work in the 1960s. HPX has in place a well credentialled and experienced exploration and development team and is now considering an exploration strategy for the licences that will seek to fast track resource identification.
The strategic positioning of the properties along the proposed Liberty multi user infrastructure corridor, based around the existing Yekapa – Buchanan rail line makes the St John River licences key growth assets for HPX and will provide economic benefits to Liberia through regional industry growth and commodity revenue.
As a U.S. company, HPX has been a vocal supporter of the Liberian Government’s commitment to multiuser infrastructure in Liberia as outlined in Executive Order 112 released in October 2022.
HPX has actively supported dialogue with senior executive White House and State Department officials in Washington for the proposed Liberia-Guinea multi-user infrastructure corridor that has the potential to transform the mineral-rich Nimba and Lola regions. The proposed Liberty Corridor has the ability to stimulate further economic activity in mining, but also agriculture, manufacturing, health, education and improve the quality of life for the 800,000 people living within the corridor footprint.
HPX looks forward to engaging with President Elect Joseph Boakai to restart discussions with the Government of Liberia over HPX’s access to the existing Yekapa – Buchanan rail line that was agreed with both the Governments of Guinea and Liberia in 2019.
In a separate acquisition, HPX has signed a non-binding term sheet for the acquisition of ATL. ATL has binding agreements in place with the Liberian National Port Authority (“NPA”) to enter into the development and operation of a multi-port user facility in Freeport of Monrovia. With the Liberian NPA remaining owner of the waterfront industrial property, ATL intends to refurbish and operate a disused iron ore quay over a 30-year lease.
The acquisition of ATL further increases HPX’s operational footprint within Liberia and underlines its intention to become a leading integrated operator and exporter of iron ore mines in the country. The is in line with HPX’s principles that use of available infrastructure, under ownership of the country of Liberia, should be increased and operated on a multi-user, open access and non-discriminatory basis, maximising its benefit to the people of Liberia.