ArcelorMittal Liberia

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Brief history of Liberia

Once a country with a strong industry surrounding natural resource exports, Liberia was torn apart by two civil wars between 1989 and 2003, leaving the country socially and economically devastated.

Most international companies had fled the country and Liberians were left with disintegrated infrastructure and without employment, when political stability was restored to the nation in 2003. The new Liberian government, led by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has been intent on reviving industry in the country and providing opportunities for prosperity to the Liberian people. However, since the beginning it was clear that Liberia would need large businesses to demonstrate belief in the viability of investment in the country in order to promote future economic growth.

ArcelorMittal was the first large business to show such belief in the country when in 2005 we signed the Mineral Development Agreement with the Liberian government, enabling us to initiate our iron ore mining project in the country. ArcelorMittal was the first and single largest private investor in the country since the civil wars, and our commitment to Liberia led the way in demonstrating the viability of prosperous business in Liberia. Since then other companies, large and small, have followed our lead, providing more job opportunities and economic stability throughout the country.

ArcelorMittal, Liberia’s operation center around three key components: mining, railing and shipping. Iron ore is excavated and processed at its plant in the Tokadeh mines, Nimba County. The ore is then transported by rail on the 240-kilometer railway to the Port of Buchanan, where the ore is loaded onto ships for transportation around the world. The first shipment of direct shipping ore (DSO) left Liberian shores in September 2011.

ArcelorMittal Liberia operations go far beyond mining iron ore. As part of its operations, significant progress has been made in rebuilding Liberia’s roads, rail and housing infrastructure. A 240km railway from Yekepa, Nimba County, to the Port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, has been rehabilitated, and port and material-handling facilities at the Port of Buchanan upgraded. Since the start of construction operations in 2006, the company has invested $500 million in roads, schools, hospitals, and training; $7million in resettlement programmes; and initiated an extensive programme to improve the livelihoods of those affected by our operations. In addition, the company has reopened two schools in Yekepa, which provide education to children of company employees and residents of surrounding communities.

ArcelorMittal’s brand promise of ‘transforming tomorrow’ is at the heart of business in Liberia. At the end of 25 years of mining operations, ArcelorMittal Liberia wants to be remembered for playing a part in reviving Liberia’s economy.