LIBERIA: WEAH IRRITATES AMERICA, GIVES SOLWAY’S ASSETS TO ARCELOR MITTAL
According to AFRICA INTELLIGENCE MAGAZINE, the President of Liberia, George Weah, has withdrawn licenses from Solway Mining Company without informing said company about it.
“Solway Mining Company which was about to launch its iron ore project, has lost its assets to Arcelor MITTAL which is strengthening its grips on iron ore production and its rail line monopoly to the detriment of Friedland’s U.S. company HPX.” The Pan-African magazine said in its Sept. 29, 2023 edition.
According to the magazine, George Weah endorsed the discreetly the transfer of SOLWAY’S mining licenses to ArcelorMITTAL before the launch of his campaign for a second turn in office as President of Liberia.
The Pan-African magazine said it has consulted confidential documents and has had interviews, and is now convinced that the President has withdrew last month a license belonging to Solway and gave it to ArcelorMITTAL.
Solway is based in Zue, in Switzerland, and is headed by Dan Bronstein. The company was operating in Nimba County where hundreds of youths were employed.
“The transfer gives Arcelor MITTAL a virtual Monopoly on iron ore in Liberia and jeopardizes the plans of Robert Friedland’s mining group, High Power Exploration (HPX). With Washington’s support, the tycoon had hoped to transport iron from his firm’s Nimba project in neighboring Guinea by rail for export from Liberian port of Buchanan. But the exclusive right to use the rail way line granted to Arcelor MITTAL Liberia has not been terminated by Weah, which he promised U.S. officials and mining operators he would do.” The magazine said.
According to Africa Intelligence, the transfer of licenses to Arcelor MITTAL has angered the U.S, administration and further strained its relations with Weah.
“The Liberian President had a frosty meeting with a delegation from the U.S. state department in New York last week prior to his speech at the U.N. general assembly. Ending Arcelor MITTAL monopoly on the rail line and making it “multi-user” under an independent operator, is strategic for US interests and the development of Liberia.” Africa Intelligence asserted.
The Pan-African Magazine also talked about new sanctions to be taken by the United Sates government against some government officials.
“The main targets now are finance Minister Samuel TWEAH and his counterpart in charge of mines and energy, Gesler MURRAY. They are suspected of having orchestrated the license transfers in collaboration with National Investment Commission (NIC) boss Molewulah GRAY and Senate pro-tempore Albert Chie. Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean is also in the firing line.” Africa INTELLIGENCE said.