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Big Boost For Bomi County
… As Western Cluster Mining Breaks
Grounds For 30M Tons Of Iron Ore

Western Cluster Mining Company has finally broken grounds to start its 30 million tons of iron ore operation in the western region of Liberia Bomi County.
The ground breaking ceremony which was held yesterday in Bomi County brought together government officials, Town Chiefs, Traditional Elders and Community Organizations across the counties who welcomed the Indian company to start its operations in the county.
Giving the overview of the project, Gesler Murray, the Minister of Mines and Energy, said Western Cluster Liberia is one of the biggest concessions in that region. Western Liberia is considered one of the most impoverished regions in Liberia. Therefore, concessions in the area go a long way in providing jobs and improving the standard of living in the area.
According to him, the company signed a 25-year Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia in August 2011, adding that under the agreement, the company is expected to mine up to 30 million tons of iron ore annually, comprised primarily of quartz, hematite, and magnetite, such weathering and replacement products as martite and limonite.
He maintained that Western Cluster Limited, until the Ebola pandemic, reportedly made annual contributions of US$ 2.8 million for social and educational projects and launched a project to provide free medical services to residents in hard-to-reach villages in Bomi County.
However, the company pulled out in 2014 due to the Ebola pandemic and subsequently, the coronavirus pandemic.
He revealed that Bomi County Senator Edwin Snowe took the initiative to launch a negotiation for the return of the company to Liberia, looking at the job demands and the underdevelopment of the Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
“A Liberian delegation was sent to India and negotiated the return of the company to Liberia. As part of the negotiations, the company was required to pay US$10 million as a complete settlement of its financial obligation for the period it was not operating in Liberia. This negotiated amount is 50 percent of its financial obligation to the Liberian government. However, due to the circumstances surrounding the suspension of its activities, the amount was slashed by half,” he added.
Beyond the agreements reached in the revised MOU, Western Cluster has agreed to provide US$3 million from the Freeport of Monrovia to St. Paul River Bridge and also another US$1.5 million from Bomi to St. Paul River Bridge, as demanded by the government.
According to the company, after reconditioning the road, it will continue to repair and maintain the roads for damages due to the transportation of its ore to the Freeport of Monrovia.
Despite these gestures agreed to, the revised MOU is yet to be signed by the Minister of Justice who is said to be holding off this signature due to the unresolved matter on the LMC pier and Western Cluster Limited’s use of the LMC pier for the shipment of its iron ore as enshrined in its Mineral Development.
Murray noted that the opening of the Western Cluster project would lead to the creation of jobs, though he did not state how many jobs could be expected.
“There is a lack of economic activities in Bomi but, with the coming of Western Cluster, employment is guaranteed. It is a jumpstart towards getting to the bigger picture,” he said.
“The mineral sector is the sector that has the greatest agenda to change things for this country,” Murray intimated.
“The Western Cluster, which started more than 11-years ago, has come to fruition with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. In the past, the project had been delayed due to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and other unnamed circumstances,” the Minister disclosed at a June 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the realization of the project in Bomi County.
Chief Moinamah Jah, Paramount Chief of Manuah Chiefdom, Senjeh District in Bomi County, in a traditional welcome, expressed heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Legislative Caucuses of the three counties and the government of Liberia as well as the management of Western Cluster for the decision reached to finally begin operation, but with a caveat that said investment brings changes in the lives of the people.
“We are very happy for Western Cluster to be here, but we want you to cater to the people of Bomi because this is where you are starting. Please recognize us and let us benefit, while the people up there are benefiting. We need to benefit from our land or else, we will not consider you to continue here. We want you to look at us; the citizens, because we have suffered too much for this mine. To work here you must have to have respect for us as a people who own the land,” stated the Paramount Chief.
Bomi County Senator, Edwin Melvin Snowe, who led the conversation for the finalization of the company’s operation in similar tone urged the company to work in the interest of the local people, but with specific responsibilities to the people as well.
Pointing out that the people of Bomi and the entire western region need such an investment opportunity, called on citizens of the three counties, especially Bomi to equally respect and protect the interest of the company through high level of mutuality.
“Please call on us whenever there is a problem and not take laws into your own hands. There should be no road block. If you think we will pay attention to you when you block the roads to get redress you are wasting your time,” the Bomi County Senator asserted.
Meanwhile, Senator Edwin Swone disclosed that his people have suffered too long but, with the mine operating, things will get better and however warned of actions that would derail the operations of the company and lead to a lack of productivity.
“This is a long journey. When we announced this, people said we were scamming. I am happy my scam has come to reality. Something is about to happen. It will not be perfect. It will not be bread and butter. Let’s be peaceful and hold together in unity as we have gotten to this destination we have labored for over the years,” Sen. Snowe added.
“We cannot take this opportunity and throw it away. There will be problems, but be aware that it is human beings that you will be dealing with. Let’s work together. This is the strength of unity. We have been fighting as politicians in this county but we are men. We said let’s put this crab mentality behind us and work together for the betterment of our county,” the Senator added.
However, Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Varney Nambi Gboto Sherman, also hopes that the company’s operations make a difference in the lives of citizens so that the deal becomes a win-win situation.
“We thank God that all has worked well and hope that it will make a difference in the lives of our citizens here and the country in general. As per this agreement signed, the company will pay royalty to every ton of iron ore taken away from these counties. So certainly, it will boost the development of our country and our people. We give our support to Western Cluster and we will equally ensure that you operate in a peaceful and enabling environment,” Sen. Sherman told the gathering.
Senators Botoe Kanneh and Simeon Boimah Taylor of Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount County, respectively, expressed great delight over the pending operations of Western Cluster, but with similar pleadings.
“There must be cooperation between the company and the people so that the operations here will continue so that the economy of the western belt will be improved. We want to ensure that the right thing is done to improve our economy. This investment is for you; just take it; let’s hold it and protect it and let’s take good care of it,” Senator Taylor added his voice to the many voices.
The Chairman of the Bomi County Legislative Caucus, Senator Morris Saytuma, said the investment is of great importance to the people of Bomi and as such, it must be protected.
He also pleaded for cooperation and collaboration between the people and the company for the greater good of development and economic revitalization.
“This is your mine and this is your product and you must do all to keep the contract going through because we need stability. Without stability, there can be no better output. This mine is the nerve of the Bomi economy. There will be some downstream benefits in the area of education, health and roads infrastructure,” Sen. Saytuma outlined the many benefits of the investment to the people.
In remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Sujal Shah, vowed to work in the interest of the people of Bomi and by extension Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, and Liberia at large during the course of its operation.
“I’m very happy to be here, in a county that deserves so much for development. We all understand the societal needs of the people. We have worked in many countries and continents and our dealings in those places are transparent. I want us to enjoy this investment together,” Mr. Shah intoned.
“We expect that this mine will be operational in the shortest possible time. The time of commitment and resilience for the senator and the executive is in the best direction; it is in the right direction of economic revitalization. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to our own Bomi County Senator Snowe and Saytuma and Sherman as well as the Superintendent and the people of Bomi County for allowing us to come in. We look forward to seeing this journey that started years ago come to fruition. Enviable impact made, provided the people of Bomi and its adjoining counties are cooperate and work in a good atmosphere,” Shah explained.
He recounted challenges that prevented his company from beginning its operations in 2010 and expressed optimism that there will be economic benefits for the people of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, and the country at large.
Shah did not give a definite date for the official start of Western Cluster operations but noted that work will begin “very soon”, as they are ready and fully prepared.

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