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Vedanta begins iron ore mining in Liberia

Vedanta Iron & Steel Limited has started iron ore mining operations in Liberia over a decade after it acquired the necessary rights as the Ebola epidemic disrupted its plans.

The firm is working through its subsidiary Western Cluster Limited (WCL) who had inked a Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia (‘GoL’) for three Iron Ore Mining concessions in Liberia namely Bomi, Bea, and Mano back in 2011. The company had its ground-breaking ceremony at the Bomi mine, as per a regulatory filing by Vedanta.

“WCL is set to restart its operation in a much bigger way with further expansion potential through exploration,” the company said in its filing, leaving the door open for further exploration on the African continent.

Expansion potential

The minerals and mining conglomerate also operates zinc mines in Gamsberg in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. The company also had an agreement with the Zambian government to mine copper at the Konkola Copper Mines in the country but the company ran into issues with the local administration. The previous Zambian government put Vedanta’s local arm into liquidation in May 2019, accusing Vedanta of failing to honour licence conditions. The company has denied these allegations.

Last month, the company committed to invest upwards of $1 billion at the Konkola Mines to develop its mining assets and modernise the related infrastructure. The move can be viewed as the global mining conglomerate extending an olive branch to the government of the African nation.

“It is very unfortunate that the last government (put KCM into liquidation). This government has come, and it believes that we are the most creditable people and we are working with them,” said Anil Agarwal, the chairman of Vedanta.

 

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