Liberia's Lands Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo, has disclosed that China Union is set to begin iron ore shipment this year.
Minister Sendolo made the disclosure recently in an interview with New Democrat's "Face-to-Face."
He said the speedy shipment of ore from Bong Mines is a result of intensive collaboration and hard work carried out in recent months by the government to ensure that the company ships ore as soon as possible.
"Because of the hard work of the Inter-Ministerial Team of the government that is working closely with Arcelor Mittal, we've been able to achieve this critical mile stone," he said.
"With respect to Bong Mines and China Union, we're working closely with the company and the community. We're trying to clear the concession area of some of the occupants and try to relocate them. We've been working very hard on the railway. We've been working with the Ministry of Justice to facilitate access to the port. So, because of that, we expect China Union to begin shipping ore this year.
Also, regarding the exact month in which the ore shipment is expected to begin, Minister Sendolo said: "Specifically we don't know the month yet, but it is expected that China Union will come on in 2013 due to the work that we've done in conjunction and in collaboration with other ministries such as Justice, Finance, Labor, NIC, etc.
Minister Sendolo also revealed that exploratory activities were proceeding well at the Western Cluster and the Putu Iron Ore Mining Incorporated. He said production activities have also increased from one million to fifteen millions in regards to Arcelor Mittal's operations.
"All is not perfect, but what we've started laying the foundation to build a stronger relationship to be able to assist them achieve more of their objectives," Minister Sendolo concluded.
The Ellen led regime, since coming to power in 2006, has secured some $8bn investment in the mineral development sector. It is expected that such investments will address many of the country's job needs, especially its youth sector, most of whom are said to be jobless vulnerable to varying ills in the society.