By Festus Poquie
Global steel gain ArcelorMittal has implored Liberian authorities to sanction individuals disrupting its mining operation in the West African nation as it raises concern about potential adverse impact on revenue inflow.
On January 14, a group of individuals claiming to be former workers of the Security Expert Guards of Liberia (SEGAL) blocked the locomotive tracks in Sanniquillie, Nimba County, the company said in an emailed statement Monday.
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice, and the Superintendent of Nimba County were immediately notified of the disruption to AML operations, it said.
“The illegal action by the individuals has serious economic implications, especially revenue generation and sends a negative message to others”.
“ArcelorMittal Liberia continues to engage with the relevant Government agencies and has called for appropriate action to be taken against those who continue to disrupt the company’s operations with impunity.”
The individuals who blocked the rail line claim to have unresolved issues with SEGAL, a company independent of AML.
Liberia hopes to yield $800 million as ArcelorMittal plans to expand production, targeting to increase exports by 15 million tons a year.
In March 2022 lawmakers declined to approve the company’s mineral development agrrement, 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.