GoL Auctions Bomi Hills Mines To Western Cluster 

The Western Clusters Limited (WCL) Mining Company has broken grounds to start full operation in the western region of Liberia.

However, during the groundbreaking ceremony in Bomi County on June 8, 2022, residents of Bomi County expressed fear whether the company will this time around be seeking the people’s interest unlike the past.

Citizens of Bomi County, inclusive of the local leadership, chiefs, and elders turned in their numbers as the elders of the area called on the management and the Liberian government to ensure that the company’s operation has positive impact on their livelihoods, especially in terms of economic growth, employment opportunities, and social benefits.

WCL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloom Fountain Limited (‘BFL’) which is in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of Vedanta Limited. WCL had signed a Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia (‘GoL’) for three Iron Ore Mining concessions in Liberia namely Bomi, Bea, and Mano in 2011.

In a communication of April 14, 2022, NIC Chairman Molewuleh B. Gray forwarded five signed original copies of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GOL and western clusters limited (WCL), Liberia for attestation by Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean to expedite the resumption of their operations.

The NIC Chairman made it known that Western Clusters has engaged the Liberian government to resume operations in the Bomi Hills Mines after negotiating new terms with respect to their obligations to the Government of Liberia, which had previously caused them to suspend their operations.

Accordingly, it was made known to the Justice Minister that the agreement has been signed by the representatives of Western Cluster, the NIC Chairman, Minister of Mines and Energy as well as Minister of Finance and Development Planning.

“Following your attestation, the MOU will be consummated allowing the resumption of WCL’s operations in Liberia. Cllr. Dean, please accept the renewed assurances of my esteem,” the NIC Chairman stated.

The Western Cluster Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) was obtained more than 10 years ago (in 2010), but could not start operation due several setbacks including the Ebola virus disease outbreak and the drop in the prices of iron ore on the world market.

Due to the stalling of the company’s operations, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the government of Liberia and the company which might likely oversee a Legislative Enactment. Ten million USD in two installments will be paid to government but the direct benefit of the people remain unknown which has brought misreactions.

With the groundbreaking now taken place, the company is now cleared to operate at three iron ore deposits in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.

In remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. SujalShah, vowed to work in the interest of the people of Bomi and by extension Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Liberia at large during the course of its operation.

“I’m very happy to be here, in a county that deserves so much for development. We all understand the societal needs of the people. We have worked in many countries and continents and our dealings in those places are transparent.

I want us to enjoy this investment together,” Mr. Shah intoned.

“We expect that this mine will be operational in the shortest possible time. The time of commitment and resilience for the senator and the executive is in the best direction; it is in the right direction of economic revitalization. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to our own Bomi County Senator Snowe and Saytuma and Sherman as well as the Superintendent and the people of Bomi County for allowing us come in. We look forward to see this journey that started years ago come to fruition.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. Gesler E. Murray, explained that the Western Cluster operations will cover 6.5 acres of land in Bomi County.

As demanded by the people, he assured that the investment bring economic benefits to the three counties and the country at large.

Western Cluster will also contribute to the rehabilitation of key roads leading through the Bushrod Island. It will bring job opportunities and will boost our revenue folder. The mineral sector is the best sector to engender economic change for our country and we must place premium in this sector,” the Minister among other things indicated.

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