“Cancel All Third Party Agreements” – ArcelorMittal Warns Liberian Govt.

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal is calling on the government of Liberia to cancel all agreements with third parties in its concession area, and take no further steps that violate its mining rights in Liberia.

In a letter addressed to the ministers of Finance, Justice and Mines and Energy, the company listed several bad decisions by the government including its recent agreements with third parties, encroaching on its operations in Liberia.

Details of the letter suggest that Mittal’s communication to the government comes days after the Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Bill Twehway, asked Mittal to grant access to Notre Dame Investments for entry to AML’s port area.

The company also stressed in strong terms that the conclusion of a framework agreement with HPX constitutes a serious encroachment on its rights under the existing Mineral Development Agreement.

Mittal is asking the Weah administration to cancel the HPX Framework Agreement and that the government of Liberia desists from taking any further steps that may jeopardize its rights under Liberian law and refrain from taking any action, or facilitating HPX to take any action under the HPX Framework Agreement.

The global steel giant has also taken exception to SOLWAY’s mining license and argued that under the MDA, it enjoys exclusive right and license to conduct exploration, development, production, and marketing of Iron Ore and associated products, as well as rehabilitation of the associated infrastructure in its areas.

The company warned that Solway’s license to explore iron ore falls within its concession area and it is clear that the issuance of the Solway License violates Arcelor Mittal’s exclusive rights under the MDA.

AML, which has invested more than 1.6 billion in Liberia and created over 3,000 jobs for Liberian citizens has also accused the government of granting two additional graphite mining licenses to Mekinel Holdings Limited and SRG Liberia, without consultation as required by the MDA.

The government of Liberia has made no comment to the claims raised by the ArcelorMittal.

The company for which managing Director Bill Tweahway wrote AML- Notre Dame is operated by Angela List, a Ghanaian national and long-time friend of President George Weah.

According to reports Dame was also granted a Class B Mining License by the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy for tailing operations in Western Cluster in Bomi Hills as well as in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

ArcelorMittal‘s Beef Background

According to the company it was compelled to write the government such an unusual letter, given the recent wave of agreements with other parties trying to encroach on the company’s activities in Liberia.

AML however noted that despite the encroachment overtures, it is strongly committed to the expansion of the Railroad infrastructure and capacity to enable it to ship up to a total of 30 Million Tonnes Per Annum of finished products, as part of AML’s plans to expand the Mine, the Concentrator and the Buchanan Iron Ore Port.

The company said its expansion will fall within the right of the company to take up the opportunity to expand the negotiations for the Third Amendment to the MDA which will result in additional expansion at the port of Buchanan.

“Given the seriousness of the matters addressed in this letter, AM requests the Government to cease any and all actions that violate AML’s rights under the MDA, cancel all agreements granting the right to third parties in AM’s Concession Area, including, without limitation, the HPX Framework Agreement, the Solway License, and the Graphite Licenses, and not take any steps that could risk violating AM’s rights further” the letter concluded.

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