Liberia’s Minister of Labor has made a resounding call for the “urgent” passage of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Third Amended Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).
Minister Gibson called for the speedy harmonization of all outstanding issues held by the legislature and executive branches so that the ratification of the agreement can sail through.
Said Min Gibson: “ArcelorMittal is the highest taxpayer and largest investor in Liberia, so detaching AML from Liberia will lead to a catastrophe,” the Minister said.
He continued that “with an additional USD one billion being invested to set up the concentrator, AML is here for the long-term and is making a long-term investment.”
The Liberian Labor Minister stressed that the sooner the ArcelorMittal Liberia Third Amended Mineral Development Agreement is ratified, it will make a “big difference”, not just in job creation for the youth, but also will increase revenue generation.
Minister Gibson, a renowned Lawyer made the remarks Saturday, December 17, 2022, as the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy in Yekepa, Nimba County graduated 50 students.
The graduates all absorbed into the AML workforce including three females from all parts of Liberia, with Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa counties dominating.
Fifteen of them will earn diplomas as diesel mechanics, thirteen in electrical engineering, ten in fitting, and the remaining twelve in boiler making.
The program is a three-year residential course fully funded by ArcelorMittal Liberia at no cost to students.
Minister Gibson is one of many top officials of the Weah regime to endorse the AML agreement and call for its passage.
On March 11, 2022, Liberia’s Finance Minister Samuel Tweah described the ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Agreement as a good deal that will help the Liberian government to transform the energy sector and the economy.
Mr. Tweah said the government’s agreement with ArcelorMittal is a “significant improvement to an existing contract” that will enable the Company to contribute to economic advancement and shared cost of energy.
“ArcelorMittal deal is a good deal in the sense that it is an improvement in the existing contract. ArcelorMittal is coming to help us with the CLSG line, and without ArcelorMittal using the line, the government alone will not be able to afford the US$48 million annually”, Minister Tweah said then on State Radio.
Background of AML’s 3rd MDA
In September 2021, the Government of Liberia and ArcelorMittal announced a breakthrough agreement for an additional 1.2 billion expansion in mining and logistics operations.
When the amendment comes into effect, ArcelorMittal Liberia will significantly ramp up the production of premium iron ore, generating thousands of new good-paying jobs and wider economic benefits for Liberia.
Dubbed the AML Third Amended Mineral Development, the expansion project encompasses processing, rail, and port facilities and promises to be one of the largest mining and logistics projects in West Africa.
Since it entered Liberia in 2005, ArcelorMittal has invested over $1.7 billion in the country over the past 15 years.
Up to 3000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with Liberians envisaged filling most of the roles.
As part of the expansion, ArcelorMittal Liberia has also launched a training and development program for high-potential Liberian employees who will gain on-the-job experience and knowledge in ArcelorMittal Mining operations.
The kind of investment in advanced skills training demonstrates ArcelorMittal Liberia’s commitment to providing employment and professional development opportunities to Liberians.
In addition, it is envisaged that the expansion will further boost the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in Liberia which offer a range of services to ArcelorMittal Liberia.