…Phase 2 Expansion, Highlights Job Creation Potential

Liberia-ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML), the largest foreign direct investment and the highest revenue contributor to the Government of Liberia, is nearing completion of its massive ore processing plant in Yekepa, Nimba County. The company, which is also the largest private-sector employer in Liberia, is currently undertaking a 1.7 billion “Phase 2 Expansion” project, which includes not only the construction of a state-of-the-art iron ore concentrator but also the augmentation of existing rail and port infrastructure to support the production and shipping of 15 million tons of concentrate ore per year.

Expected to revolutionize both Liberia and the region, the plant is poised to become the second-largest in Africa. The high-technology plant, a key component of AML’s Phase II expansion, will process approximately 25 million tons of raw ore annually to produce 15 million tons of concentrated product. This would then represent a significant advancement in Liberia’s mining capabilities and position the country as a crucial player in the global steel industry.

During a recent site visit, Vice President Jeremiah Koung described ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Phase II Expansion Project as a significant investment that will create numerous jobs for Liberians. Vice President Jeremiah Koung commended the company for its $1.7 billion investment in the company second phase development and for constructing for the first time an ore concentrator. 

Said VP Koung: “I want to say thank you. We appreciate your investment. Instead of simply moving the Direct Shipment Ore (DSO), you’re investing USD 1.7 billion in the concentrator. This facility will remain here, he stressed.

The Vice President added, “This is a big investment that will attract a lot of people here. Therefore, it is crucial that this investment aligns with the local community’s development, ensuring they also reap the benefits. I appreciate it. Thank you. This is a very big job, and I believe it will bring a lot of employment opportunities.

“I will extend the message to the President, and I believe he will also visit here, and he will also see that ArcelorMittal is doing well,” the Vice President promised.

The economic benefits of the ore processing plant extend beyond job creation. By processing ore domestically, AML adds significant value to Liberia’s natural resources, enhancing the country’s global investment image. Investment in a modern ore concentrator is a move that not only attracts more foreign investment, but also stimulates local economic growth.

ArcelorMittal’s decision to build a facility that can produce high-grade iron ore concentrate aligns with global trends toward higher-quality, more efficient steel production that can ensure a steady demand for Liberia’s processed ore and even other natural resources.

Furthermore, Liberians, especially those in the mining counties of Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong, expect the project to create significant employment opportunities.

AML has already started training dozens of technical operators, as well as low-, senior-, and middle-level technicians who will work at the ore processing plant. Many of the young people undergoing training to work at the ore processing plant are believed to be citizens of the mine-affected communities.

VP Jeremiah Koung and wife during a recent visit to ArcelorMittal mines in Yekepa, Nimba County.

Initiatives designed to ensure that local communities directly benefit from the expansion, receiving both employment and skills training opportunities, include their recruitment and those anticipated in the future.

The construction of the ore processing plant is accompanied by ArcelorMittal’s last-year disclosure to construct a new housing project at its Tokadeh Mines to accommodate 1,040 of its staff in Nimba, under the company’s Phase II Project Operational Readiness objective.

Infrastructural upgrades, including improvements to the rail and port facilities in the expansion plan emphasized last month by global chairman Lakshmi Mittal, are essential for transporting the high-grade ore to global markets.

These enhancements support Liberia’s position in the global steel market, particularly in Europe, where there is a growing demand for high-quality ore to develop low-CO2 steel technologies.

This alignment with the EU’s decarbonization efforts further strengthens Liberia’s strategic importance in the global supply chain.

Moreover, the project addresses environmental concerns by locating the concentrator near the mines in Yekepa. This decision minimizes the environmental impact by managing tailings near the mine site rather than exposing the sensitive marine ecosystem to potential mining operations, an approach that the company says reflects her commitment to sustainable mining practices and environmental stewardship.

ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Phase II expansion is a transformative project that promises substantial economic, social, and environmental benefits for Liberia while enhancing the country’s mining infrastructure, creating jobs, ensuring sustainable practices, and playing a pivotal role in Liberia’s economic development and integration into the global economy.

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