Liberia signs whopping US$250m gold mining contract

Artisanal miners dig for gold in an open-pit concession. Photo : REUTERS

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Liberia and the Britain-based Hummingbird Resources Inc. have signed an estimated US$250million agreement to develop the largest gold mine in the West African country, sources said Monday.

The contract entitled: Gold-Mineral Development Agreement will be implemented mainly in Liberia’s gold fields in southeast of the country and will last over a period of 25 years was signed over the weekend.

National Investment Commission (NIC) said the project will exploit the largest gold discovery in Liberia’s history.

The Hummingbird project will operate across Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland counties and directly benefit these counties as well as bring further benefits to other counties in the southeast which have been isolated in terms of economic activity, official sources said.

Following ratification and publication of the agreement into law, Hummingbird will pay a signature fee of US$3 million to the Government of Liberia, with US$1.5 million to be paid within 15 days of the effective date and thereafter, US$1.5 million to obtain the license.

A Royalty of three percent (estimated to bring in millions of dollars in revenue) is given to the Government of Liberia on gold revenues. Additionally, the agreement allows 10% percent shares for Liberians.

Hummingbird will also pay all other taxes and duties as set out in a fiscal agreement.

The key benefits as of the Hummingbird Agreement, include jobs of which over 1,000 direct jobs and around 2,500 indirect will be provided.

All unskilled jobs will be given to Liberians while those qualified Liberians for skilled labor positions.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng