MONROVIA – Earlier this year, ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) began its second phase expansion program aimed at ramping up to 30 million tons of iron ore production per year with significant investment in Liberian infrastructure.
Dubbed the “ArcelorMittal Phase Two Expansion” the company said this new 1.2-billion-dollar investment shows concessionaire’s commitment to the partnership with the Government and people of Liberia; and is proud of the contributions it has made and the attendant positive impact on Liberia’s economic development.
Speaking about the expansion recently, AML Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jozephus Coenen, said last year landmark amendment to the company’s Mineral Development Agreement will pave the way for the ongoing “expansion of our mining and logistics operations in Liberia”.
Coenen said, with the MDA amendment coming into effect, ArcelorMittal Liberia will significantly ramp up the production of premium iron ore, generating new jobs and wider economic benefits for Liberia.
“This is exciting news, not just for our workforce, but for all Liberians and the country. The expansion project encompasses processing, rail, and port facilities and is one of the largest mining projects in West Africa with a capital investment of over a billion United States Dollars,” Coenen stated.
With the AML Phase Two expansion project, nearly 3000 jobs are being created just during the construction phase, with Liberians filling most of these roles.
“We have come a long way as a company, and we are proud of our partnership with Liberia,” the CEO added.
Like CEO Coenen, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Chief Operating Officer Adriaan Strydom recently reechoed the great value and vast opportunities associated with the company’s Phase Two expansion Project for young Liberian college graduates.
Making special remarks at the 20th commencement convocation of the African Bible College University (ABCU) in Yekepa where the company’s mining operations are stationed, Strydom assured the graduates of the company’s commitment to creating opportunities for Liberians that would transform their livelihoods.
He reminded the graduates and Liberians that amid the company’s Phase Two expansion, the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy which plays a cardinal role in preparing young Liberians for mining operations remains available for interested candidates to prepare themselves for the huge job opportunities ahead.
The project includes the construction of a concentrator to bring added benefits to the Liberian iron ore.
“We are going to operate on the rail and the port facilities and massive extension on the mines, and we will be one of the largest mining companies in West Africa with a capital investment of US1.5 billion dollars. Nearly 3,000 jobs have been created now during the construction phase with Liberians occupying most of the positions,” he explained.
ABC University offers bachelor’s degrees in Entrepreneurial Studies, Mass Communication, Education, and Biblical Studies. For an additional advantage, the graduates will need technical vocational education that will augment what they have acquired to be more qualified especially, for the technical operations AML’s Phase 2 Project is concerned with.
“We will be glad to see many of the graduates here in our workforce. We are interested in programs that promote socio-economic development, and we can assure you that AML is here to stay,” he assured the audience, adding, “As you have walk through the walls of this university, remember that you are entering a world of many challenges and opportunities and should be in the position to face those challenges and opportunities ahead of you.”
The COO also urged the graduates to be proud of their achievements and celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of people who supported them to pursue their education. He said AML recognizes ABCU for its many contributions to molding the minds of young people.
The 20th class of ABC University graduates was made up of 40 young Liberians who earned degrees in various career disciplines.