Liberia: China Union Under Spotlight

-Amidst ongoing strike The House of Representatives is expected to…

-Amidst ongoing strike

The House of Representatives is expected to investigate Chinese mining firm, China Union, for alleged failure to live up to Mineral Development Agreement.

The House’s decision followed a communication sent to plenary by Bong County Electoral District # 7 Representative, Foday Fahnbulleh.

The move comes amidst reports of strike action by over 80 employees of the Chinese mining company over what they described as bad labor practice.

Meanwhile, according to Rep. Fahnbulleh, China Union (Hong Kong) Mining Company Limited and China Union Investment (Liberia Bong Mines Company Limited since entering into a Mineral Development Agreement on January 19, 2009, as a result of a general solicitation for bid proposals for the exploration and mining of iron ore issued by the Government of Liberia on January 23, 2008 in a document called the Bong Range Tender, has refused to live up to its social corporate responsibilities.

He explains the MDA, among other things, provides for the Concessionaire to conduct a Social Impact Assessment, develop a Social Action Plan, implement a Skills and Technology Development Plan, and renovate all existing roads in the concession areas, including renovating, extending, and building the Kakata to Heindi Road.

“The Concessionaire, in keeping with the MDA is also responsible for providing an annual social contribution of US$3.5 million to communities within the concession area, providing a general education funding of US$250,000.00 annually for scholarships, and operation of a Mining and Geology Institute at the University of Liberia.

Also, the MDA provides for the employment of 70% Liberians within the ten most senior positions within the Concessionaire in ten years. Under the MDA, the Concessionaire is expected to generate 230MW of electricity with 130MW being produced from a Hydro-Power Plan on the St. Paul River near Heindi.

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In addition to these, the Concessionaire is expected to operate and maintain an up-to-standard health facility within the concession area as well as pay a land rental fee of US$100,000.00 in the first ten years and US$250,000.00 per year for the next fifteen years”, he says.

He continues that since the effective date of the MDA, the Concessionaire has conducted operations within the concession area including Bong Mines which falls within his district. January 19, 2024, marked the 15th anniversary of the MDA.