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ArcelorMittal-Liberia ’s Investment, Socioeconomic Impacts on Liberia’s Economy

The World Bank, IMF and Economic Intelligent Unit have all asserted that Liberia’s GDP growth will remain strong in 2023-24, which will be supported by rising output of iron ore, gold, and rubber and by rising investment into infrastructure development.
AML-High Ore

Liberia, West Africa: – Liberia is home to several mineral resources. Extraction of minerals, such as iron ore, gold, and diamonds, has long been an important contributor to the economy. Most the world’s important minerals are sent out in their raw or semi-finished states. The country also has resources of manganese, bauxite, uranium, zinc, and lead.

On November 16, 2015, Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced to the country that the prices of Liberia’s primary commodities which include iron ore, rubber, timber, etcetera plummeted on the global market. The former President’s speech was greeted with rivers of policy suggestions from policy practitioners to move into diversification of our economy by heavily investing in the agriculture sector that holds the key to lifting millions of people out of the ashes of poverty. But with the current rebound in global iron ore prices, Liberia can leverage on the mining sector to once again make the country a worldwide hub point for iron ore mining and as well a prime destination for investment which will correspondently increase economic growth and development. This would allow Liberia to capitalize on the current gradual recovery in global iron ore prices.

The World Bank, IMF and Economic Intelligent Unit have all asserted that Liberia’s GDP growth will remain strong in 2023-24, which will be supported by rising output of iron ore, gold, and rubber and by rising investment into infrastructure development. When these three international bodies made these projections, they were made in lieu of the massive phase two expansion that ArcelorMittal Liberia is carrying on which will see a leap in the taxes, royalties and the social corporate responsibility funds the company gives to the Liberian government.

The mining industry in Liberia contributed about half of the country’s GDP in 2020 thanks to the sale of exported iron ore. Mount Nimba is home to iron ore and metallurgical coal resources owned by ArcelorMittal, a company with significant regional investments. In addition to restoring and operating the 243-kilometer rail line connecting its Tokadeh mine in northern Liberia to the Port of Buchanan, ArcelorMittal has invested multiple billions of dollars in mineral infrastructure like roads, electrical plants, and housing for its employees.

ArcelorMittal, which already manufactures and distributes iron ore to clients in Europe and Asia, is actively pursuing the growth of its operations in Liberia through its much-heralded phase two expansion project, which is set to spend over $1 billion to its investment portfolio. Over the last 16 years, ArcelorMittal Liberia has spent more than $1.7 billion in Liberia, making it the biggest foreign investor in Liberia. In addition to its almost 2 billion investments, ArcelorMittal currently operates a vocational training centre and provides two-year residential certificate training in mechanical and electrical trades. As part the phase two expansion project, ArcelorMittal Liberia runs a training and development program for highly potential Liberian employees who are gaining on the job experience and knowledge in ArcelorMittal Mining operations globally.

Mining production and operation optimization; plant maintenance; planning and execution; plant electrical operation systems; and electrical maintenance are all areas in which the corporation is actively investing in its staff’s education and development. Mine production and operations, as well as plant fitting and heavy-duty mobile equipment maintenance, are two further fields of study. ArcelorMittal Liberia is investing in its employees’ futures by providing them with possibilities for further skill development and employment. The rise of Liberian small and medium-sized companies that provide a variety of services to ArcelorMittal Liberia is also expected to be stimulated by the expansion.

AML’s tax payments throughout the years have made significant contributions to the country’s general treasury, economic health, and the developmental recovery effort. In addition, the firm has hired a large portion of Liberia’s jobless population, many of whom have become good parents and breadwinners since the arrival of the steel behemoth, AML. Grand Bassa, Bong, and Nimba are three of the fifteen counties where AML is active in Liberia. The Mineral Development Agreement requires the firm to provide US$45 million annually to the three impacted counties as corporate social responsibility funds to aid in the resolution of social, economic, and environmental problems in the areas where the company conducts its operations.

During the first three years of the project, ArcelorMittal plans to spend about US$65 million in order to increase annual iron ore production from 5 million to 15 million tonnes. Expansion activities are anticipated to produce their first concentrate by the end of 2023. We anticipate no delays in the development timetable and the successful completion of the capacity increase. The business plans to spend over US$800 million over the course of the 25-year expansion project in order to increase production to at least 30 million metric tons. The Liberian parliament has not yet ratified the agreement, but given its significance, we anticipate that this will happen within the next several months.

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