13 February 2014

Liberia: China Union Shipment of First Ore in 20 Years Hailed

Photo: Liberia Government
The GMT Phoenix being loaded with China Union's first shipment of 50,000 metric tons of iron ore from Liberia at the Freeport of Monrovia

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed satisfaction over the level of work and development carry out by China Union in a bid to resume mining operations at Bong Mines.

"Sometimes we forget, sometimes mischievously don not know and say, sometimes we are uniformed about the developments. In 2009, when we made the first visit to Bong Mines, it took us hours to get from Kakata to that point. Upon arrival there were no schools, no jobs, no hospital but today, though we haven't reach where we want to be, we have come a long way," an elated President Sirleaf remarked when commemorating the historic first shipment of iron ore from the Bong Mines now operated by China Union.

In 2009, prospects for the abandoned mine took a positive turn again, as China Union signed a Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) with the Government of Liberia, committing to invest US$ 2.6 billion to renovate and revitalize the Bong mines. The shipment of 50,000 metric tons of ore marks the first of its kind within twenty years.

China Union is expected to export about 500,000 tons of iron ore by the turn of the year, amounting to 50,000 tons per month. This will contribute approximately US$7 million to Government revenue.

For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, H.E Zhang Yue, said he was pleased to join Madam President to grace this grant ceremony as Ambassador of China to Liberia.

"The launching of the first shipment of Iron Ore from bong mine is a new chapter for your friendly and cooperative relations between China and Liberia." He stated.

"The successful operation of this project had made a remarkable contribution to enhance the economic and social development in Liberia." He added.

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