The Ministry of Mines and Energy under the stewardship of Hon. Wilmot Paye has asked Arcelormittal Liberia to stop all exploration activities at Mount Blei and Detton with immediate effect. The decision of the minister came in the wake of a constant pressure mounted by citizens of the affected communities demanding ArcelorMittal to stay off the disputed property.

On Thursday, March 19, 2024, the Minster had a meeting with Gbar, Sheyi and Zor Advocacy Group where their counts against the steel giant were deliberated on. The group maintained its stance on promoting competition in the mineral industry and encouraged the new administration to stand against monopolism.

The lead advocate of the group, Mr. D. Pious Dolo, stated that the dividends of AML operations in Liberia for nearly two decades are not sufficient to change the country’s economy. Dolo maintained that AML should not be left alone to deplete the limited resources in Upper Nimba County as competition would bring a bright future that the youths of the country are desperately looking for. He cautioned the ministry to quickly take the necessary actions if Nimba and Liberia are to benefit from the remaining nonrenewable resources.

In response, Minister Paye has mandated AML to immediately stop all exploration activities on Mt. Blei and Mt. Detton until revision of concession agreement is done and findings are established for decision making.

It can be recalled in 2022, the Government of Liberia through the 54th National Legislature rejected the third amendment of AML’s mineral development agreement on grounds that AML failed to fully meet up with her social and cooperate responsibilities, plan to monopolize railway and including Solway Mining Inc. property to her licensed area. The 54th national legislature rejected the document and explained reasons to the executive why the document should not be accepted.

To achieve her aim, AML worked along with top officials of the Weah led government including Gesler E. Murray, Emmanuel O. Sherman, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Samuel Tweah as well as Nathaniel McGill, Molewuleh Gray and former Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chea to undermine the Legislators’ decision.

The then Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler Murray conspired with Alford B. Morgan and used the latter days of Weah’s administration to illegally cancel Solway’s license and aided in selling the property to ArcelorMittal who previously claimed ownership and maintained a position that the Mt. Blei and Mt. Detton property is and was always part of their LAMCO concession area despite strong legal explanations produced on several occasions by former Ministry of Mines and Energy, Patrick Sendolo, and Justice Ministry.

The two ministries had demonstrated that the disputed area was relinquished according to the 2000 Mining Law of Liberia and legally turned back to the Government of Liberia since 2010.

After a significant capital investments for nearly four years on the Mt. Blei and Mt. Detton property, Solway and its team of international experts could demonstrated that the discovery on the mountains are not only economically viable mining prospects but amongst world best quality with prime access to railway and port facilities hence Solway qualified to negotiate an MDA which access was granted by President Weah since May 2022.

Comments are closed.