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Commemorating the start of mining operations
Liberia mines again In 2011, ArcelorMittal’s ﬁrst shipment of iron ore left the shores of Liberia. The ore, mined from Tokadeh near Yekepa in the Nimba mountain range, was transported along a 240 km rebuilt railway line, to the rehabilitated port of Buchanan. This signiﬁcant landmark is the culmination of ﬁve years’ work to restart the country’s iron ore production. But commemorating the ﬁrst shipment is more than a celebration – we truly believe the development of Liberia’s iron ore industry will contribute to the rebuilding of the nation’s economy after two decades of instability.
GRAND BASSA MARGIBI Kakata Buchanan
Our work in Liberia is a series of ﬁrsts. As our ﬁrst greenﬁeld mining project, investing to rebuild Liberia’s iron ore industry is an important project for ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company. It is even more important for Liberia. ArcelorMittal’s pioneering investment is one of the ﬁrst major commitments to be made in the country after the end of 14 years of civil war.
ArcelorMittal’s purpose and vision – to transform tomorrow through a shared boldness of spirit and our values of sustainability, quality and leadership – are evident in our work in Liberia. We say ‘Boldness Changes Everything’ and our mine in Tokadeh is the embodiment of this in action. What we have achieved in Liberia – producing and shipping iron ore for the ﬁrst time in 20 years – is evidence of what you can achieve with vision and boldness. In 2005, when ArcelorMittal signed a Mineral Development Agreement with the Liberian government, the words in the contract were about much more than minerals and metal. Not only did ArcelorMittal commit to strengthening Liberia’s mining industry and transport system, we committed to an investment to rebuild the country’s social and community infrastructure for the long term. Our investment in the country, and the people we have employed to make this project possible, is going some small way to try to restore Liberia and its economy. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those who have been involved in this project over the past ﬁve years for their commitment. I hope you enjoy viewing and reading this commemorative book, which marks the beginning of ArcelorMittal’s operations in the country and celebrates the beauty of Liberia and its people. Lakshmi N Mittal CEO and Chairman, ArcelorMittal
A history Liberia has rich iron ore deposits concentrated in the remote Nimba mountain range near the Guinean and Ivory Coast borders. Iron ore was ﬁrst extracted from Mount Nimba from the 1960s to the 1980s, by the Liberian American-Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO). The nearby town of Yekepa became the hub of Liberia’s iron ore mining industry during this time, until it was destroyed during the country’s civil war in the early 1990s. When stability returned to Liberia after the signing of a peace agreement in 2003, ArcelorMittal was selected by the Transitional Government to restart mining operations and entered into a Mineral Development Agreement in 2005. This was amended by the elected government in early 2007.
The Nimba mountain range Home to Liberia’s iron ore, Mount Tokadeh is the site where ArcelorMittal started its Liberia mining operations.
The start of the project As Liberia’s infrastructure was completely broken down, ArcelorMittal needed to start from the beginning by developing all aspects and facilities to enable the construction of a major mine project. The project started in 2007 immediately after the amended mineral agreement was signed. We successfully appointed major engineering consultants and project supervisors and procured the necessary equipment and supplies to make the project a reality.
Our operations Sustainable mining means forward thinking and planning beyond the duration of the mine. Besides starting our operations at the Tokadeh mine, the $800m investment in the ﬁrst phase of the project has involved rehabilitating the rail link and port. We have rebuilt the township and the industrial and social infrastructure in and around the towns of Yekepa and Buchanan as well as constructing a new crushing and screening plant. The second phase of the project aims to triple production of iron ore with an additional investment of $1.2bn, with a goal of shipping 10-15 million tonnes a year. This would require a new concentrator plant in Nimba and an upgrade of the rail and port facilities to handle the higher capacity.
A new port Investing in transport infrastructure in the port of Buchanan is key to restarting Liberia’s mining industry.
The production process Close to the town of Yekepa, there are three iron ore mines, at Tokadeh, Gangra and Yuelliton. Our operations for the ﬁrst phase at Tokadeh include the installation and commissioning of specialist crushing and screening equipment for Direct Shipping Ore (DSO). Once the iron ore is extracted, it is processed into small particles, before being loaded onto the rail wagons that take the ore to the port.
Rebuilding the railway With the iron ore mines located hundreds of kilometres from the coast, the newly renovated railway line linking Tokadeh mine with the sea port at Buchanan is a crucial part of our operations. The 240 km rail line has been refurbished, with bridges and service roads rehabilitated, and a new drainage system installed. Road networks have also been improved, providing 150-200 km of new roads mainly along the railway corridor. In addition, ArcelorMittal has agreed to pave the Ganta-Yekepa road and work has started in 2011.
From land to sea Liberia’s most accessible iron ore deposits are deep in the interior of the country. This means more than 600 train journeys will be made each year to carry the ore from Tokadeh to Buchanan, and about seven ships – each carrying 60,000 tonnes – will be loaded with ore every month. At Buchanan port, the iron ore quay has been strengthened and the basin dredged. By 2012, four million tonnes of iron ore will be mined and shipped from Liberia each year to our plants in Europe and to the open market in Asia. Two trains with 70 wagons each will bring in about 13,000 tonnes daily along the 240 km journey.
“Government cannot, by itself, achieve the vision for Liberia that is enshrined in our Poverty Reduction Strategy…We need the participation of the private sector – one that will bring in sustainable investment and promote good corporate citizenship” Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, speaking at the Corporate Responsibility Forum, Monrovia, February 2010
Our corporate responsibility programme ArcelorMittal’s corporate responsibility programme in Liberia is diverse. We have constructed and rebuilt roads, while teaching thousands of local residents about road and rail safety. We have built new accommodation for employees and improved community access to clean water and electricity. New schools and hospitals are helping to improve education and health. We also work with the government and international donors, having helped to set up the Corporate Responsibility Forum in 2010. The aim of the forum, which to date has brought together more than 200 businesses and public sector organisations, is to encourage responsible investment, good corporate citizenship and collective action for the sustainable development of Liberia. We constantly work to minimise disruption to the fragile ecosystem in which we work, regularly auditing and assessing the environmental impact of our operations.
Community Investing in the communities touched by ArcelorMittal has always been central to our operations in Liberia. We contribute $3m a year to a fund that beneﬁts communities in the counties of Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa. We always aim to avoid the resettlement of any members of a community. Where this is unavoidable, we apply international standards as a minimum. In Liberia, we have a detailed resettlement plan for the communities living near the railway and mines that includes compensation and assistance for relocating sacred forest sites, as well as agricultural programmes to help communities with loss of productive land. Currently, no households have to relocate, but those living nearest the mine have the option of doing so, with the help of ArcelorMittal.
Schools Education is a key ingredient in ArcelorMittal’s commitment to Liberia – and employing Liberians to manage our local operations in the future. We have reopened two elementary schools and one high school in Yekepa, providing education for 1,100 students. In Buchanan, the newly opened Grand Bassa County Community College, built with the support of both ArcelorMittal Liberia and the ArcelorMittal Foundation, is the ﬁrst post-secondary academy in the city.
Hospitals and health As part of our commitment to improving healthcare in Liberia, ArcelorMittal’s hospitals in Yekepa and Buchanan and its clinic in Green Hill Quarry beneﬁt employees and local residents – more than 12,000 people. We also run a series of community health programmes, including a major anti-malaria campaign carried out as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative, in partnership with the Liberian Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In the Yekepa and Buchanan concession areas, all homes now have treated mosquito nets and in Yekepa alone, more than 98% of homes have received indoor residual spraying.
Protecting the environment The Nimba mountain range, where Liberia’s biggest iron ore deposits are found, is also one of West Africa’s few remaining wet-zone forests. This unique ecosystem means the mountains are effectively biological islands, home to many rare species. Protecting biodiversity is crucial to ArcelorMittal’s plan for Liberia. We partnered with a number of international conservation groups on ecological studies carried out over several years to explore how the company can help reverse the recent history of environmental damage in Nimba. As a result, we found several new species and conﬁrmed the Nimba mountains are home to animals that live nowhere else but this small corner of Liberia. The studies also conﬁrmed the area’s remarkable biodiversity; the forests are home to nearly 400 species of bird and 750 species of butterﬂy and moth. Our work has included the most comprehensive environmental studies ever undertaken in Liberia. With this information, we are helping the people of Liberia to understand the environment in which they live, so that its resources can be managed for the long term.
Making transport safer With the rail line that links Yekepa to Buchanan having been out of use for two decades, rehabilitating the railroad has also involved safety education. We are working with the teams at Buchanan port, the railway and the mine to ensure that the operations are run safely and in line with international safety standards. We have also created a safety campaign for local communities that live near the 240 km rail route, using street theatre and a puppet show to highlight the dangers of a moving train. The campaign, conducted both in English and local languages, has so far reached 23 of the larger local communities as well as local schools. This activity will continue for three years at all schools along the railway line and service roads. With increased mining activity, Liberia’s roads are getting busier. In 2010, we worked with the Liberia National Police to run three workshops on road safety that brought together 300 taxi drivers, commercial motorcycle operators, transport union ofﬁcials and local authorities in Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba, with a goal of reducing road accidents.
Developing our people We train and mentor our local employees to increase the number of Liberians working in skilled, supervisory, administrative and managerial positions. We have created new jobs, making sure that the majority of employees and contractors at the mine live locally. We select workers in consultation with local communities. Our ultimate goal is to build a sustainable operation that is run largely by Liberians.
Supporting small businesses Investing in local businesses and entrepreneurs is key to strengthening the private sector in Liberia. ArcelorMittal has hosted a number of business workshops for private companies, providing a forum for sharing experience, knowledge and best practice in corporate responsibility. Almost 200 businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organisations have taken part to date. To reﬂect our commitment to ﬁghting corruption, ArcelorMittal is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which offers guidance on how companies should disclose the taxes, royalties and other payments they make to governments. We are proud that in October 2009, Liberia was the ﬁrst African country to be recognised as fully EITI-compliant.
ArcelorMittal Liberia 15th Street, Sinkor Monrovia, Liberia www.arcelormittal.com/liberia
Luxembourg 19, Avenue de la Liberté L – 2930 Luxembourg Tel +352 4792 1
London 7th Floor, Berkeley Square House Berkeley Square London W1J 6DA United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)20 7629 7988
Design Bladonmore.com +44 (0)20 7631 1155 Photography Stephen Hird www.stephenhird.co.uk Sasha Gusov www.gusov.com
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