ArcelorMittal says it remains committed to the construction of the Ganta Yekepa highway, where works have begun as scheduled and will continue as promised.
“There is no change to the road commitment by the Company, and we are working with all stakeholders towards meeting this end,” a Tuesday press release quoted Joe Mathews, General Manager for External Affairs, ArcelorMittal Mining based in London. “We continue to make revisions to ensure that the Liberian operations remain viable at the current iron ore price level, but this is a promise that is very important to us and one we made to the people of Nimba. We have no intention of stopping this road project.”
It was reported recently that the mining giant was reneging on its committed to have the commercial corridor paved, with some media report indicating that the company did not have the money to carry out the construction.
“ArcelorMittal has a long-term commitment to Liberia. We have been present in Liberia since 2005, and were the first company to invest in the country after the civil war. To date we have invested $1.7bn in our operations in Liberia including $500m in rebuilding local infrastructure, as well as health and education facilities,” the release said.
“ArcelorMittal Liberia signed a contract in 2005 with the Liberian government (amended in 2006) in which the company promised to be a partner in Liberia’s growth and development. Since then, ArcelorMittal Liberia has not wavered on this promise, and has continued to be a trusted development partner, often going beyond the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), even during the most challenging conditions.
“ArcelorMittal responded vigorously to the Ebola crisis, working to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors, and their families and communities contributing medical, financial and other resources. The Company took the leading role in mobilising companies operating in West Africa to accelerate the international response to the crisis,” the release added.
“Many years of hard work and finances have been invested in the country and its people, and we remain committed to Liberia.”