ArcelorMittal Vows Additional 25 Years of Impactful Investment”

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ArcelorMittal Liberia has assured impactful investment of its additional 25 years, following the approval of its Mineral Development Agreements (MDA) by the National Legislature.

   Speaking to a team of journalist on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 in Monrovia, the Head of Government and Community Relations, Marcus Wleh, described ArcelorMittal’s next 25 years of operation in Liberia as a projected growth to the country’s already developing economy.

   ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking facilities in 17 countries. In 2020, ArcelorMittal recorded revenues of $53.3 billion and crude steel production of 71.5 million metric tons, while iron ore production reached 58.0 million metric tons.

   Pinpointing the company’s contribution to national development over the past 15 years, Wleh argued that the company’s effort helped to expose Liberia and inspire its confidence in the global business community, following the country’s 14 years crisis.

   “Our presence in Liberia after the war encouraged other companies to come to the country to invest,” Wleh claimed.

   According to the company’s Government and Community Relations Head, ArcelorMittal has been committed to its mineral agreements with the Government of Liberia (GOL). He intimated that the company prides itself for the multiple development programs undertaken over the past 15 years, as part of its cooperate social responsibility.

   According to Wleh, “ArcelorMittal’s commitment over the last 15 years is remarkable, particularly in the areas of education, sports and several others programs which benefit Liberians.”

   Referencing the extended mineral development agreement, Wleh contended that Liberia has a lot to gain from the passage of the agreement than not doing so. He stated that the annual payment to the Government of Liberia (GOL) will more than double; the annual US$3 million County Social Development Fund to the three affected counties—Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa will increase to US$3.5 million; additional 2,000 jobs will be created in the construction phase of the project, with additional 1,000 jobs during implementation; also US$50,000 scholarship in the technical sciences will be provided for youth in the three affected counties, and a host of many other opportunities.

   Drawing from the opportunities named in the MDA before the National Legislature for ratification, those opposing the ratification of the amended agreement are opposing thousands of jobs for young people, and denying the much needed financial resources required for the development of the country; and also the extra US$.5 million to the three affected counties. He averred, “We need to put sentiments aside and address the real issues of concern in the documents so that they are harmonized and put behind us, and we head into the future as true partners.”

   He outrightly argued that the MDA, denied ratification, is dangerous to Liberia’s economic future, as the denial of the MDA would signal that Liberia does not welcome investors. “If there are certain provisions in the agreement that do not benefit Liberia, they should be brought forward to the attention of the Executive, for their reaction and resolution,” Wleh stated.

   Making further remarks during the media interaction, Wleh intoned that ArcelorMittal’s global goal is to help build a better world with smarter steels.

   Wleh also exposed that, as part of the MDA ArcelorMittal agreed to build a US$800,000 processing facility which, according to him, will be one of the biggest sub-mining infrastructures in Africa.

   The company’s senior officer further argued that the processing facility will create mass recruitments particularly in the 3 operational counties and give new skills to Liberian technicians, who would gain employment and training working with the new concentrator.

   “The Company, as part of the new mineral development agreement (MDA), has agreed to build a processing facility here in Liberia, and this will be one of the biggest sub-mining infrastructures in Africa. This will also create additional jobs for Liberians, particularly in Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Bong counties,” he stated.

   Making final remarks, Marcus Wleh encouraged Liberians through the National Legislature to view ArcelorMittal’s operation over the years and approve the operational extension.

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