New Delhi: World's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal has said its board has approved plans for the second phase of its mining operations in Liberia that will augment iron ore capacity to 15 million tonnes by 2015.
The company said it has invested over USD 1 billion in development of its operations in the African nation so far.
"For the second phase of the project, annual capacity of the iron ore mine will increase from four million tonnes a year to 15 million tonnes a year in 2015," the steel giant said.
It said the increase in capacity, which will also mean an increase in job opportunities for Liberians, will be accomplished through investment in an iron ore concentrator, expansion of the port facilities in Buchanan as well as increased utilisation of rail capacity.
"This is an important step forward for the growth of our mining operations in Liberia as well as for the development of Liberia. It is a clear sign that ArcelorMittal is committed to building a world-class mining operation in Liberia," commented CEO, ArcelorMittal Liberia, Antonio Maria.
The investments in Liberia, as per the company, included the rehabilitation of the railway from Yekepa and the port facilities in Buchanan, besides construction of hospitals and schools in its concession areas.
The company, however, did not mention any estimate of fresh investments.
"Phase two will result in further investment in the port, mainly through a new fixed ship loader that will have a loading capacity of 6-8,000 tonnes of iron ore per hour, and the construction of concentrator at the mine site in Yekepa which will produce iron ore pellets enabling ArcelorMittal to increase its production capacity to 15 million tonnes per year," the company said.
In addition to these new investments at both the mine site and the port, ArcelorMittal Liberia also recently announced that a pact has been inked with the government of Liberia to build a 70 km road connecting Ganta and Yekepa.
It said the company will provide the USD 40 million needed to build the road and construction to begin later this year with an expected completion date in early 2016.
First Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 13:12