3 September 2011, Sweetcrtude, Perth, Australia – Liberia is poised to reap the rewards of its mineral riches once again, with the first shipment of iron ore produced since the end of its decades-long civil war expected later this year and gold production due to resume in as soon as six months.
Liberia, one of the world’s poorest countries, is still recovering from the 1989-2003 war that decimated its mining industry which, before 1990, contributed over 25 percent to GDP.
According to Reuters report, Liberia is due to hold its second post-conflict election later this year, but the country has already piqued the interest of international mining and oil firms, attracting $16 billion in foreign investment since 2006, mining and energy minister Roosevelt Jayjay told Reuters in an interview.
“There are a series of big companies lined up to go,” Jayjay said on the sidelines of a conference focusing on Africa’s mining sector which was held this week in Perth, Australia.
Top steelmaker ArcelorMittal is expected to make its first iron ore shipment in a little over 20 years in the next month or two, he said.
Gold producers Hummingbird Resources and African Aura are also expected to start gold production in the next six months to a year.
The West African nation has also already marked out 17 oil blocks, 10 of which have already been snapped up, with Anadarko, Chevron and African Petroleum Corp leading the pack for oil exploration.