YEKEPA, Nimba – ArcelorMittal has announced that it has concluded a detailed feasibility study to identify the optimal solution for utilizing the resources at Mount Tokadeh in Nimba and its other deposits.
The company is calling the study a milestone that can lead to the expansion of its operations in Liberia, as it recommends several changes in its operations. These include upgrades to the concentrator processing lines to reflect changed product quality demand, the replacement of wet tailings with dry stack tailings and treatment, as well as a revised life of mine plan to ensure optimal high-grade product to meet market demand.
“The [detailed feasibility study] will be delivered to the Government of Liberia for their consideration and then will be discussed formally at a review meeting soon,” the company disclosed in the release.
ArcelorMittal said it has also allocated funding for a detailed engineering work which is a requirement for an investment decision to be made later this year.
The detailed analysis conducted over the last year is part of ArcelorMittal’s commitment from 2013 when it announced a Phase 2 expansion project that would have seen the construction of 15 million tons of concentrate sinter fines capacity and associated infrastructure if proven technically and economically feasible.
This expansion project was initially delayed due to the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak, and then reassessed following rapid iron ore price declines over the ensuing period. It is consistent with the company’s continued commitment to the country throughout its 14 years of operations.
The CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, Scott Lowe, said while taking up his assignment in March this year, he committed to building on a solid foundation to create a successful business.
“A key part of this commitment is ensuring that we continue to progress the project as required before making an investment decision,” Lowe said.
He said reviewing the results of the detailed feasibility study with representatives of the government is a step forward towards the project that would create additional revenue streams for the government and crucially, more long term skilled jobs for Liberians if approved.
“Our commitment to training the workforce of the future can be demonstrated by our US$7 million in investment in the Vocational Training Center, which is a part of our contribution to help build a sustainable and highly-skilled workforce that will meet the future needs of both ArcelorMittal and Liberia,” he added.
Last year, the steel company opened a new vocational training center to provide vocational skills to Liberian youth at no cost. The center offers training for electricians, heavy-duty mechanics, and mechanical fitting, among others.
Featured photo by flickr’s Jbdodane