MONROVIA- Oct 26-The Ambassador of the United States to Liberia says repeatedly delaying the rectifying of ArcelorMittal’s One Billion 3rd Mineral Development Agreement “is not helpful” and will discourage investors.
Ambassador McCarthy told State Radio ELBC that he believes the deal offers vast economic benefits but admitted it has “become much more complicated”.
“What I will say is that companies that are coming looking at Liberia as a palace to invest will also be discouraged by how long this activity is taking”.
He said it was a “healthy fact” for the legislature to agree to a deal that the executive is going to hold citizens to with a private company.
What according to him “is not helpful is that it was talking so long” to act and to finalize the agreement.
According to him, the US Ambassy was waiting to see where it all ends in respect to the deal.
Ambassador McCarthy said he still believes the investment will bring benefits to the county in term of “higher taxes” for export of commodities.
In as much as many things have happened since the signing of the deal last year, he stated that he still believes the economic potential its offers are good for the people of Liberia.
“I will say like we say in Politics, that was a long time ago and so many things have happened or changed since that time” he said
When asked if he now has a change of perspective towards the AML investment, the ambassador replied that he still stands by his earlier comments that the deal when passed “will bring Liberia more than $800 million in foreign direct investment, hundreds of millions more in government revenue, and significant expansion of mining sector jobs, temporary and long-term.”
ELBC’s Super Morning Show host Varflay Kamara further questioned: “do you still see it as a good deal and what thoughts could you further share on the current situation of this 3rd ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement”?
“I still agreed with all of those words” he replied adding “the investment that ArcelorMittal-Liberia wants will make a huge difference in the economy, and in the lives of people …”
In September 2021, the Government of the Republic of Liberia and ArcelorMittal-Liberia, the world’s leading steel company, signed an amendment to its existing 2013 Mineral Development Agreement to make way for the expansion of the Company’s mining and logistics operations in Liberia.
If the MDA came into effect, more than 2000 jobs would be created during its construction phase alone, which Liberians envisaged to fill most of the roles created.
The expansion project – which could encompass processing, rail and port facilities, had promised to be the largest mining project in West Africa with a required ONE Billion Dollars to finalize the project, an effective brownfield expansion.