By Festus Poquie
Liberia’s President George Weah appoints a special presidential committee to settle disagreement stalling approval of ArcelorMittal’s third mining agreement negotiated in 2021.
The committee will meet all relevant government authorities and ArcelorMittal’s officials to “ensure the finalization and the implementation” of the iron ore deal, a statement on the president’s website said Tuesday.
“The Liberian Leader has further directed the committee to find a durable solution that will have due regard to the legitimate interest of all parties, while always upholding and protecting the supreme national interest of the Government and People of Liberia.”
Weah reached the decision following talks with
ArcelorMittal Executive Chairman Lakshmi Mittal in Doha, Qatar, it said.
Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Kemayah will Chair the government’s panel that will work with an ad-hoc committee that is to be established by Mr. Mittal, to resolve all outstanding issues.
Lawmakers declined to approve the deal in March citing ArcelorMittal control of seaport and railways infrastructures. Relinquishing the facilities into government custody will enable neighboring Guinea to transport iron ore from its Zogota ore deposit.
The West African nation hopes to yield $800 million as ArcelorMittal plans to expand production, targeting to increase exports by 15 million tons a year.