ArcelorMittal Liberia has announced plan to ship 4.5 million tons of iron ore this year from the country. The company shipped 3 million tons of iron ore between 1 January and 8 August 2013, almost doubling last year's figures for the same period, according to a statement issued in Monrovia.
The company spokesperson Madam Hesta Baker-Pearson told reporters that the most recent monthly shipment figures, for July 2013, show production tripled last month compared with July 2012.
"We shipped out 516,000 tons of iron ore in July 2013, compared with 175,138 tons in the previous July", Madam Baker-Pearson said.
According to her, due to improvements that are being implemented in ArcelorMittal Liberia, 3 million tons have already been shipped in 2013, higher than the projects installed capacity.
Hesta Baker-Pearson said while the company's goal is to produce 4 million tons of iron ore each year during the direct shipped ore (DSO) project, the company is now on track to produce 4.5 million tons in 2013.
She narrated that the first shipment of iron ore from Liberia left the country's shores on September 27, 2011, and in less than two years, CEO Antonio Carlos Maria said "the company has proven to be sustainable and has the ability to do much more."
For his part, Arcelor Mittal Liberia Port Manager Jim Page, disclosed that between January 1 and August 12, 2012, the company shipped 1,896,000 tons of iron ore, and challenged by heavy rains, the company sought answers to help mitigate the effects of the rainy season on its operations.
"While Liberia also experienced heavy rains in July 2013, the production rate tripled year-on-year. We are in the process of implementing a polymer blending facility which will assist in mitigating the potential risks associated with high moisture content in iron ore, thereby solving major shipping concern during the rainy months," said Page.
The CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia points to the workers as the success of the company: "great teamwork from operations, support staff, contractors, daily hires and the communities are the reason for the great results" he said.
The Port Manager narrated that 2013, another major contributor towards reaching the company's targets was transshipment in the dry season and during transshipment, a smaller vessel is loaded for three or four rotations, transferring up to 60,000 tons of ore to Cape-size ocean going vessels of up to 200 000 tons.
Page pointed out that they transport the ore to customers in Europe and China, saying "We have already hit 3 million tons and are not yet in Q4 yet, so we are above our target. We are loading vessels at approximately 20,000 tons a day" added port manager Jim Page.
He said the company is currently implementing phase two of its operations here, when ArcelorMittal Liberia will begin ramping production up to 15 million tons a year by 2015.